Routes— Melanie Smith

Firstly, introduce yourself; who you are, what you do and who you run with/for?

Hello!! My name is Mel Smith (she/her). I’m a runner, a yogi, part French part Australian, I enjoy writing, travelling, and spending time with my friends and family. I work at Australia Post, teach yoga, and run a start-up called Her Pace. I love to run with my friends, many of whom I’ve met running for Hunter Athletics & Recreation.

How long have you been running and what is your main source of motivation?

I’ve been running on and off for about 10 years, however it’s only in the last 3 years that running has taken centre stage. Initially, I ran for exercise, however over the years my motivation has evolved into running because of how it makes me feel – free, focused, and connected to myself. During the pandemic, I was also inspired to run as it was an opportunity to spend time with my friends and to be in nature.

Where do you live? Do you find yourself sticking to your local routes or exploring outside your area?

I’m living in South Melbourne. I certainly have my local haunts, which are great during the week, however I love going trail running on the weekends. It feels so good to escape the city and spend time reconnecting with nature. When I’m travelling, I’ll also always pack my run kit. I find running is a great way to explore, orientate myself and get grounded whenever I am somewhere new.

What is your go-to running route in/around Melbourne and why?

It really depends what ‘type’ of run I am doing. Long runs – I love Capital City Trail because it’s one big loop, otherwise Eaglemont or one of the many trails around Melbourne e.g. Lysterfield because you’re out in nature. Sessions – The Bridges on the Yarra and Olympic Park Track because it’s flat and fast! Easy Runs – usually around Albert Park Lake or the Tan because the surface is nice and soft.

If you could pick one road or trail to run anywhere in the world, where would it be and is it somewhere you have run before?

The trails in Chamonix, France. I’ve heard great things and it would mean a trip to France where I can keep up my French and chocolate croissant consumption. I have not run there yet.

Are you currently or do you have plans to train for any events in the future? If so, what and why?

Yes! I’ll do the Melbourne Half Marathon this year. I’ll stick with 5KM, 10KMs and Half Marathons for a while for personal progression. I’d also love to do some other races for the experience of it such as The Speed Project, trail races and races overseas. The main goal is to be able to keep running though as it’s given me so much.


Photography— Riley Wolff


Up There Athletics – Routes— Melanie Smith

Route 01— You Yangs

Up There Athletics – Routes— Melanie Smith

Route 02— Blairgowrie

Up There Athletics – Routes— Melanie Smith

Route 03— Capital City Trail

Up There Athletics – Routes— Melanie Smith

Route 04— Lysterfield Park

Photography— Riley Wolff