Rake hay while the sun shines
15 runners ran 5.4km to help the Oxford Preservation Trust in Oxford.
- Wednesday, 7th of August 2019
- Led by Anwen Greenaway
The lure of frisbee and post-run drinks, brought out a bumper crop of Goodgymers last night. Basking in the sunshine we plotted a scenic route to Iffley Glebe, which turned out to be shorter than the 'direct' route. Note to self: measuring is key.
Iffley Glebe tasks seem to be our lucky charm. Or maybe Goodgym is Rachel from the Oxford Preservation Trust's charm?! Either way, the sun always shines at Iffley Glebe, which made for perfect hay-raking weather.
When we visited the Glebe in June the long grass was head height, but it was cut at the end of July, baled and the hay taken away, leaving the meadow clear and nettle free. (This must be the first time in weeks that there have been no nettle stings on a Goodgym task!)
Our tasks for the evening were to get the Glebe prepped for autumn: raking up the left over bits of hay and bundling them onto the compost pile, giving the stone wall a final summer once-over for weeds, ivy and moss, and protecting the wooden noticeboard with a coat of wood preserver.
Stu and Aoife bagsied the noticeboard, channeling their inner artists with some careful paintbrush action, while the remainder of the group tooled up with rakes gloves and secateurs to tackle those insidious weeds and demonstrate their hay-handling expertise. Kudos to Sarah who wields a rake like a pro (or like she's a little too familiar with a pitchfork?!), and top marks for scarecrow action have to go to Mark - if it's not selfies with scarecrows it's posing as a scarecrow. Vicky and Alison shifted huge quantities of hay with some excellent teamwork, and team wall-weed found that the outside of the wall had done pretty well since our 2 previous weeding visits, so the inside was the place to be this week.
As ever, we managed to get through an impressive amount of work in a relatively short amount of time thanks to everyone getting stuck into the jobs. 30 minutes later, hay pile amassed, weeds eliminated, and noticeboard renewed and ready for the elements, we stopped for some much-appreciated squash and shortbread before a highly competitive game of frisbee.
Apologies to anyone who actually plays Ultimate Frisbee for our very confused and chaotic version of the game, but however much we may have bent the rules we had a lot of fun!
At 1-1 the UN were called in to declare a draw and the game over, and after one last photo we waved goodbye to Rachel and Iffley Glebe until next spring. Appreciating the downhill start to our run back to base we swooped down to Iffley Lock and picked up the Thames Path, dodging geese and bikes along the way, arriving back at East Oxford Community Centre sweaty but happy. Amazingly, the biscuit Bethan stowed away for later survived the sweaty run. Leggings with a snack pocket are clearly the way forward.
Stretches completed, and off to the PUB!
Welcome Alice to your first Group Run. Lovely to have you along.
Report written by Anwen Greenaway
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Goodgym trainer for Oxford. I run for fitness and for my sanity! Absolutely love trail running.
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