The mission of the Run the TAN group is to:
- Promote our great City of Melbourne and its iconic Tan Track as well as providing a ‘central source of truth’ of all official recorded run times around the Tan (including the All-time Top 10 and Top 100 fastest times for men and women) and other interesting statistics;
- Celebrate the amazing times that our own Australian athletes and other international athletes have achieved around The Tan and how they compare to our sporting idols in other sporting codes such as AFL and Soccer;
- Promote and raise awareness of some of the great athletic organisations and running groups in Melbourne and who you can find training at the famous Tan Track; and ultimately
- Promote a healthy & active lifestyle for ALL Australian’s and raise awareness of the positive impact that exercise has on mental health and wellbeing.
When you visit Melbourne it is a must that you either walk, jog or run Melbourne’s iconic ‘Tan Track’ around the beautiful Botanic Gardens.
The ‘Tan Track’, better known as The Tan, derives its name (depending on whom you ask) from its tan colour; from its former tan bark surface; or as an abbreviation of “BoTANical Gardens”.
Suitable for runners of all abilities, The Tan has become one of the most popular running tracks in the world.
Run the TAN was founded in 2019 and has established a central database of all official times (source of truth) and set of rules & regulations for what constitutes an official time around The Tan.
These are used to inform any updates to the top 10 and 100 times, and to provide athletes and the general public with a view of all official recorded run times around the Tan. Refer Hall of Fame.
Elite athletes pride themselves on having their name on The Tan Digital Clocks and the general public are inspired by these times.
The Tan Track
The Tan Track is located around the perimeter of the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne, Australia.
The Tan Track is 3.827km long with distance markers every 250m and is fully floodlit from 5am until midnight each day.
The official start point is at the Pillars of Wisdom near the junction of Olympic Boulevard and Alexandra Avenue. Proceeding clockwise on the tan track east along Alexandra Avenue with the botanic gardens on your right and the yarra river on your left, you make a 90 degree turn up Anderson St which takes you just short of Domain Rd. From here you take another right turn veering back onto the gravel tan track alongside Birdswood Ave, past the main entrance to the Gardens and towards Linlithgow Ave taking in the Shrine of Remembrance on the left and eventually back to Alexandra Avenue to complete a full lap. Keep the gardens on your right hand side all the way and you can’t get lost!
One of the biggest challenges of running The Tan is Anderson Street Hill. This part of the track, up Anderson Street, has an incline of 4% with a 16m climb over a distance of approximately 600m. The rest of the track is relatively flat and easy to navigate around.
In 2011 two digital clocks were installed at Melbourne’s iconic Tan Track to help runners and walkers record their lap times as they make their way around the ‘Tan’. A gift from the Bennelong Foundation to the City of Melbourne, the clocks provide practical encouragement to Melbournians and visitors alike to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle – a key focus area of the Bennelong Foundation.
The Tan Track is the home to many of Melbourne’s most well-known running clubs and groups including:
- The Victorian Road Runners
- Melbourne Midday Milers
- OXAC / de Castella Runners
- The Crosbie Crew
- Melbourne Track Club
- Melbourne Front Runners
- The 440 South Yarra
If you know of any other running clubs or groups who train at The Tan then let us know so that we can add them to the list.
It is also the home of some key athletics competition races ran by the following organisations: