A Berry GoodJam
29 runners ran 6.7km to help the Wildcat Wilderness in Lewisham.
- Monday, 7th of August 2017
- Led by Adele Prince
Enjoying a lovely evening in Lewisham, 29 runner volunteers covered 7km, wheeled barrows, lugged logs, picked pears, gathered glass, whacked weeds and struck a pose.
Thank you to Caireen and Conroy for this week's sweet pun!
So many new faces! We had visitors this week, Frances (all the way from Islington/Camden!), Neil (a relative new-comer, popping over the border from Bromley) and Michael (who is all over the place at the moment, doing good). We also welcomed some absolute first-timers, so give some Lewisham Love up for Ruth and Claire. It was lovely also, to welcome back Lindsay, who has been off on the other side of the world for the past year, doing good of another kind.
We knew it was going to be big this week, with 35 people having signed up, so we huddled up and got cosy for a little pre-run briefing. Lots to celebrate (as always here in Lewisham), with Conroy having qualified over the weekend as our very first Run Leader at GoodGym Lewisham. This means Conroy can help me out by leading smaller groups on multiple tasks, or taking a faster paced group on a slightly different route and so on, an all-round super-helpful role! We also congratulated the weekend's racers, Sean and Nykolette (I'm sorry if I missed anyone, it's getting hard to keep up these days!). Also doing great things in the weekend warrior department was Stephen, who is training for his first marathon and yesterday ran twenty miles!! Yes, we also thought he should have his feet up.
We warmed up with some elbows, knees and toes (knees and toes) and headed south towards Catford, via Ladywell Fields - the new houses on the old Catford Dogs give us a nice little shortcut now and we're sure the residents don't mind us lolloping past as they eat their dinner. At the Wildcat Wilderness, we were met by a very relaxed-looking Maria, who was happily back from a little break and eager to tame the now slightly wilder oasis. We're always amazed at how much everything has grown since our last visit, but this was a bit bonkers, with brambles laden with berries, fruit trees heavily hanging their fruit down to tempt us and one solitary sunflower looking on pensively as the activity began.
I realised quickly that I should have taken note of where everyone had headed, because I soon lost track and wondered how we might retrieve 28 people once our time was up! All around, people got on with:
wheeling sacks of compost along the long, long path
rolling, lifting, shifting and positioning logs around the campfire
sawing branches into firewood
gathering dumped metal and glass
scooping up abandoned camping gear
painstakingly picking shards of glass out of the paths
That's an awful lot of work going on! It's hungry work too and the abundance of delicious blackberries acted as fuel to keep everyone going.
Time went way too quickly, as always here and we were very soon pairing up gloves and returning tools (but finding time to cheer Steve, who managed to pull a long piece of metal out of the ground, saving anyone from tripping up, good work!). As you can see in the photos, our group photo was definitely inspired by this week's World Athletics Championships, with some people striking the pose they might adopt if facing Bolt in the 100m. 'Oh look, they're dabbing!' said my ten-year-old son when I showed him the photo, very impressed!
Before we ran off down the path, Maria told us that, on our next visit, we will have the pleasure of putting together the new apiary - this is a real honour and we look forward very much to being involved in this project.
Our run back involved spotting and pointing out all the best blackberry picking zones in Ladywell and listing all the yummy things you can make with them (yes, we do get a bit peckish about now). One our return to Glass Mill, we were very lucky to have our post-run stretch led by new Run Leader, Conroy, who I thought dealt very well with the cheeky heckling from the crowd - nice planking too.
This week is monthly social week, with a special gathering happening on the roof of the QEH on the Southbank (hope for sunshine!), check here for details. Our next group run will take us further afield to the wonderful Surrey Docks Farm, where we have been invited to help them keep on top of all the summer jobs that need doing...there might just be cute animals, oh go on then, there WILL be cute animals, come along!
Don't forget to follow us on Twitter too, lots of chatter and sharing of news @GGLewisham.
Report written by Adele Prince
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