A task that Cators for all weather
12 GoodGymers made their way 4.0km to help the Friends of Cator and Alexandra Parks in Bromley.
- Tuesday, 11th of June 2019
- Led by Adele Prince
As the heavens opened, twelve tip-top runners covered 4km of squelchy running and battled on through a gardening task at Cator Park
Thanks to tourist, Dharmesh, for tonight's title pun, though I'm not entirely sure the task Catored for us poor, soggy volunteers!
Oh blimey. I had said how wonderful it was that the rain had stopped and the sun was out, just in time for our outdoor task, how wrong I was! As I cycled towards Penge, I could see the sky darkening and, just as we gathered in the pub garden, down came the rain. Damn you, Met Office weather app!
Amazingly, we still had twelve intrepid superstars, eager to help out, so off we went. Thanks to Stuart for leading the way tonight and to Clare for being our super back-marker. As we swept into the park (which, unsurprisingly, was looking incredibly lush!) the rain came down even harder, so we were pretty much soaked before we even started! Here we met Millie and another Friend of Alexandra and Cator Parks (I didn't catch her name in the maelstrom!). It's easy to forget that, a lot of the time, the people we meet at tasks are also volunteers, making the effort to be out in the evening...and in weather like this!
No rain, no gain!
There was no hanging around. Put on some gloves, grab a tool, find a spot and start pruning! With this being our first visit of the year, we could see that everything has grown a lot and the bindweed is really going for it. We happily snipped away at the robust shrubbery and pulled miles and miles of the tangly weed. After a while, I was aware of a rustling in the bushes. Tim. He had embedded himself in the centre of the largest cluster of shrubs and was throwing out things that he uncovered...he was basically in his element. At this point, we were joined by Vic, who had already done first her good deed for the day, helping over at Dragonfly Yoga, who are planning on opening this Thursday, great work Vic!
All around us, big piles of twigs and leaves were growing and still the rain came down. Some worked with hoods up, some threw caution to the wind and were in t-shirts and some clustered under trees and paid a great deal of attention to one plant, whilst huddling like penguins. Gradually, we all edged this way, seeking a little warmth, with the conversation turning to the fitness session (no, I didn't go ahead with my planned park session, that would have been far too cruel!). With Millie needing to catch a train, we quickly took our group photo and headed back to our start point in double-quick time. We will be back here next month, hopefully with a bit of sun on our backs!
I am still constantly amazed that people will turn up to make a difference on an evening like this, really great teamwork and camaraderie! Tomorrow we have 20+ GoodGym runners taking on the Dino Dash Relay in Crystal Palace Park. If you're not racing, do come along to cheer and for the post-race social! Next week we are running up to Forest Hill Station, where we will water the plants and do some weeding and tidying - bring gloves if you have any.
See you soon!
Report written by Adele Prince
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