Go Wild! Go Wild! Go Wild in the Catford!
15 runners ran 7.2km to help their local community in Lewisham.
- Monday, 25th of April 2016
- Led by Adele Prince
It was chilly, it was grey, it was damp, but GoodGym brought colour to Lewisham, with 15 bright and eager runners breezing through Ladywell Fields to the Wildcat Wilderness in Catford, covering 7.2km and getting stuck firmly into a task of digging, turning, lopping, sawing, chopping and slashing. Oh yes!
New faces, renewed faces and brand-new-to-running faces, we had them all tonight! A mingling of colourful athletes happens about this time each Monday, at Glass Mill in Lewisham. There is always a bit of neck-craning and ear-wigging from other leisure centre users as we go through our pre-run briefing and move on to our head-count and name-check. There are smiles all round, as we step outside to do our warm-up, which also serves as a little bit of entertainment for the weary commuters who pass by from the station.
We definitely needed to get warm tonight, since we are still wearing gloves and hats in nearly-May! Our run through Ladywell and on to Ladywell Fields was like a moving bubble of chatter, with everyone catching up on the week's news and lots of mention of that little race that passed through our borough yesterday (very well done to our regular, Conroy, who did brilliantly in his first marathon). We paused every so often to regroup, making sure nobody was left behind - a big thank you to Roni, who took tonight's back-marker role.
As we ran along the road towards our destination, we saw Maria at the gateway, ready to show us in to the delight that is the Wildcat Wilderness. As she locked the gate behind us, we ran along bark paths and weaved in and out, noting the allotments to our left and the playing field to our right - you really wouldn't know this was here! Soon, the area opened up and we were at a clearing, with a shelter, a dinky little composting loo and a marvellous teepee rubbish sculpture. Maria told us that they have been here now for a year and a half, having cleared the area of brambles, uncovering five skips worth of dumped rubbish in the process (hence the treasures found along the journey).
It was tool time. Oh, how we love a task where the tools are laid out and ready to go, with a gadget for every need! Maria assigned roles to everyone, with Judy and Alex taking a particularly skilled job, using what seems to be a slightly less dangerous, but still mean-looking machete implement, to hack away the brambles - this, it seems, is the perfect stress-buster! The next tools to be issued were forks. Lucy, Darren, Caireen, Helen, Rachinta and Roni got stuck in, turning over some heavily compacted soil, with a systematic line-up-dig-step-back-dig-chat-dig-step-back routine making light(?!) work of the heavily trodden sods. Next up were our tree surgeons Steve, Catherine, Amy, Louisa, Ania and Niall, who set to work clearing away some self-seeded plum trees that were encroaching on a clearing, made to house the beehives. This will create more light, to make it less of a snooze-fest for the bees, who will return later in the year.
So, three pockets of intense work going on around the wilderness, with the sound of laughter heard rising above the blackberry bushes and blossom.
Time went way too quickly of course and there were shocked gasps when it was announced that we only had ten minutes left. It was then decided to stay five minutes longer and cut down the return-leg drills (cue cheers from some!). At this point, Roni showed her commitment to her five-a-day by unearthing a perfect little spud, we can see that the next task might be accompanied by rucksacks to take home some veg...(though, kudos to Roni, who did then run back with a neat little posy of chard for her dinner. Nutritious).
Just as we started to gather up our tools and return them to the shed, darkness fell and so did the rain, time to go. While we regrouped, Steve noticed the fire pit and wondered if we might have a fire next time. This soon escalated into us having a run, a task and a post task barbecue...there's our spring-time social sorted! A quick jog along the path to warm back up again and Maria thanked us and sent us on our return journey with a toot of her car horn.
Aching limbs trotted through the park, with those who had it in them giving a push up the hill to add a little additional loop, with cheers of support and encouragement from those of us who favoured a steadier pace. Our task had sucked us in to another world, meaning we had dipped slightly over time tonight, so we waved goodbye variously to those who had Ocado deliveries to get back to, dinner to eat and Games of Thrones to watch. We stretched, we chatted about next week's task and we congratulated Rachinta, who hadn't run before, but did brilliantly keeping up on such a long run! We really look forward to coming back again and making some more headway with these jobs.
See you next week for some leaflet dropping in Deptford - yes, we still do good on a Bank Holiday!
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Four Years of GoodGym Lewisham!
Monday 18:45 - 20:30
Led by Adele Prince
Glass Mill Leisure Centre
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