WHEELIE Good Work After We Ran All the Way Over CHAIR!
15 runners ran 8.7km to help the Swindon Shock Wheelchair Basketball Club in Swindon.
- Tuesday, 2nd of October 2018
- Led by Emma Sperring
What a great turn out again last night. There were 15 of you waiting eagerly inside Coffee Corner keen to get going to Park North, some of you clutching your Beat the Street Cards, others blinding me while 'testing out' their head torches (don't worry - my vision is almost back to normal this morning?!) Poor Jon was pounced on (by me, the Run Leader) as soon as he stepped inside the building. So, why the strange behaviour you may ask?! Well, Jon has joined the parenting club since the last time he joined us, so I thought I would share my excitement with him. Congratulations Jon and Natalie on the birth of your beautiful baby boy! I'm just sorry Stuart that I did not react in the same way when you walked in through the door, but a bystander did notice your disappointment and offered you a substantial pre-run hug. I hope this helped in some way?! Great to see the lovely Jo tonight, a newcomer to GoodGym, who gave it 100 per cent effort all evening. Thank you for joining us; I do hope you can make it to GG again soon?
6pm arrived and we all gathered outside the Oasis for a head count. Today's head count was actually a piece of research on Kirsty's behalf. Kirsty has kindly offered to organise our first 'social' so everyone was asked not only to give their name and number (thanks to Mike and Dan for running late this week; Stuart was not number 13 this week), GG'ers also had to tell the group where they would like to go for a GG Swindon Social. The answers were varied and interesting, but Paul's idea of going bowling seemed to be a winner as well as Graham's suggestion of eating and drinking afterwards! So, there we go, the research has been done; over to you Kirsty to organise! Kirsty will be available on a Tuesday night with paper and pen in hand to jot down your name should you wish to join us at this prestigious event! The first week of December seems to be a favourable time; watch this space for an exact date!
Once the first Beat the Street Box was tapped and the run was under way, I started to miss Emily A LOT. I am having to run with a rucksack in her absence. Running with anything attached to my back (a rucksack, a pacing flag, a small child) feels just wrong, but sometimes necessary as there are essential items to carry as a Run Leader, including a first aid kit, the register, gloves, a head torch, water and chocolate (!). I hope you're back next week Emily? I have chafing on my neck today; to prove that I am incapable of running with all this stuff on my back!!! The route took us up Manchester Road, which is a lively part of town in the evening (!) and around the County Ground, which was fairly quiet last night with a much-needed blood donors session going on rather than a football match. We then picked up the Eastern Flyer, a well-lit cycle path that follows some of the old canal route in Swindon. We made it to Park North in no time at all, probably because most of us were caught up in conversation (I learnt that Andrew has 3 boys under the age of 5 and that Graham is a computer geek and can teach primary-aged children how to 'code'). I love hearing the chit chat as we run by; it's the best bit of the evening!
Talking about chit chat, Paul has kindly organised a WhatsApp chat group for GG Swindon, which will give you the opportunity to chit chat not only on a Tuesday night but on any day of the week! If you would like to join the group just click here!
We arrived at the front gates of Youth First (which used to be Oakfield School apprently), and some of us did a little sprint from the front gates to the building to prove how hard we had worked out that night! We were warmly greeted by Ben Humphrey and Alan Curtis from Swindon Shock Wheelchair Basketball Club, who briefed us on the task to be done that evening. There were approximately 35 wheelchairs to be cleaned and maintained, with Alan, the Club Mechanic, demonstrating what needed doing in a practical way, reassuring us that we couldn't go wrong! So now it was time to get going not only cleaning and maintaining the wheelchairs but there was also the more technical task of de-fuzzing trapped hair in the castors! Yikes! Alethia was the first to put the disposable gloves on after learning she had to de-fuzz! Everyone worked in pairs, with Ben H working hard dragging the wheelchairs out of the container and Alan on hand to help us at every opportunity. I had the job of taking the photos, which seems to amuse everyone, especially Ben E who tends to avoid eye contact with me, hoping I won't see him. Sorry Ben - I did see you. Thank you for the fab pic!
Beat the Street Stuart Arthur also joined us at the venue, to find out more about GG. The idea is that when Beat the Street (BTS) ends in 3-weeks-time, participants are signposted onto other activities, including GG! What a fabulous idea. Thanks Stuart! Roll on the 24th October, I have a feeling GG will be a popular choice post-BTS. In the meantime let's keep tapping those cards!
The group photo was taken in the dimming light, with many of you sat in a Swindon Shock Wheelchair Basketball Team 'arms around one another' pose. It was soon time to go, but Tracy and I were keen to visit the ladies before we went. For a moment we were like naughty school girls walking through the changing rooms, giggling, in the pitch black, desperately trying to find a light switch to find our way. The fun we have at GG eh?! I need to get out more?!
It was officially dark now, the rucksack was on and it was time to go. We waved goodbye to Ben H, Alan and Stuart and made our way back to the Oasis, tapping boxes along the way. I had a nice conversation with Richard, whose head torch and knowledge about potential Christmas GG tasks was greatly appreciated! In the usual fashion, those with me at the front shared puns on the return journey, which is actually quite useful as my brain fails to generate such words. Mike told me he enjoys 'word play', which is just as well. This is now his official job at GG Swindon!
We arrived back at the Oasis with just minutes to spare and it was time to say goodbye to the lovely Tina from Wandsworth, who has been part of GG Swindon since August. Tina has been living and working in Swindon on a short term contract, but it is now time for her to move on. She will be missed! Good luck Tina! Don't forget to visit us again soon?
It was a long run tonight, but wasn't it worth it? I do hope you can join us again next week? Emily and her trusty rucksack will be leading the group to the Night Shelter's office to do some much needed sorting and guess what - it's a shorter run, so if you're new to all of this, next week is the run for you! To sign up, just click here!
Report written by Emma Sperring
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Now famous for the ‘Swindon Silence’ at Swindon parkrun...! I’m also pretty good at talking, taking photos and drinking coffee!!! 😁
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