Group run

Cour(gette) Blimey! We're 6 months old

10 GoodGymers made their way 6.7km to help the Canal and River Trust and Oxford City Council in Oxford.

  • Tim Lund
  • Oxford runner
  • Anwen Greenaway
  • Julia
  • Sarah
  • Aoife Fitzgerald
  • Sarah McFadden
  • Alya
  • Oxford runner
  • Ben Foster
Wednesday, 21st of August 2019
Led by Anwen Greenaway

6 months old already! 428 Good Deeds completed, including 12 coach runs and 7 Mission Runs.

We have litter-picked, painted, scythed, raked, weeded, planted, sanded, wheelbarrowed, and of course run, and run, and run.

We have played frisbee, sprinted along the lamp-posts, swung along many sets of monkey bars, played on outdoor treadmills, zip-wired, done sit ups in the rain, tried to master mountain climbers, run relays and hills, and nearly mutineed over planking.

Most importantly, while doing good around Oxford we have laughed a lot, learnt new skills, and made friends and new connections within Goodgym and with our task owners.

Our 6 month birthday run was no exception to the relentless positivity of a Goodgym Group Run, as we welcomed Katie and Ben to their first Goodgym experience, before heading off at a fair clip through the city centre and past some of Oxford's most famous sites to rendez-vous with Tim (the City Council Waterways Co-ordinator) at Hythe Bridge Park on the Oxford Canal. This week's mission was to improve Oxford's waterways, both canal-side and along Castle Mill Stream.

After a warning about discarded needles and instructions on how to dispose of them safely, we split into Team Litter and Team Plants. Team Litter donned gloves, grabbed bin bags and tackled the mess of cigarette butts, bike baskets, coffee cups, and plastic bottles lying around the little park at the end of the Oxford Canal. We've never been thanked so much by members of the public as we were on this task! We were stopped 3 times for a chat and thank you's, which gave us a chance to explain about Goodgym (no, we aren't on community service, at least not that kind of community service!) and make people aware of the little ways they can help in their community.

Meanwhile Team Plants followed Tim across the road to the patch of riverbank beside The Oxford Retreat pub, where they planted native shrubs along a section of fencing, attached wire for them to climb up, and gave them a thorough watering. The stretch of fence is a favourite spot for graffiti, so the hope is that the plants will discourage that in the future. A few weeks ago we planted climbing plants over the road in Hythe Bridge Park, so we took the opportunity to check their survival rate (a couple of casualties, but mostly doing well) and water them ahead of the predicted warm weather this coming weekend.

Jobs completed, tools packed, and we were all ready to run off along the towpath, but WAIT! Not so fast!! We hadn't reckoned on Tim remembering it was our 6 month birthday this week

....and nothing says 'Happy 6 month Birthday' like a courgette with 6 birthday candles in it!

  • Happy Birthday To Us sung (to the possible puzzlement of passersby) - see you get a lung workout at Goodgym too!
  • Group photo taken - shouldn't have doubted the photo skills of the unsuspecting tourist we asked to immortalise us.
  • And we were free to run.

Making full use of the daylight we meandered back to base along the towpath, through the University Parks, and a magical mystery tour along the River Cherwell, completing nearly 5km of running just on the return journey. Go team, go!

Since it was our sort-of birthday, and because raw courgette isn't the easiest thing to share, we indulged in some cake once back at East Oxford Community Centre.


Onwards and upwards (not too much of the upwards though, hills are unkind): Here's to another awesome 6 months of running and doing good. #SmugRun

Photo gallery today includes some of my favourites from our 6 months of tasks.

Report written by Anwen Greenaway

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Anwen Greenaway
Led by Anwen Greenaway

Goodgym Coordinator for Oxford. Trail runner, often muddy.

GoodGymers helping out
  • Back markers

    Make sure that no one is left behind

    • Sarah McFadden
    • Alya
  • Photographers

    Take photos for the session report

    • Oxford runner
    • Sarah
    • Aoife Fitzgerald

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