It was panic-stations this morning when we realised we were down to 2 GoodGymers on our foodbank shift this afternoon. However, I should've known better than to worry, as Rachael jumped in to help (thank you cancelled jury duty), Sarah came along straight after work to help get the parcel list completely packed, and Cassy pedalled over to help restock the shelves and put away donations.
With Ben and myself we were almost a full team so got parcels packed, food waste binned, donations put away, and some restocking and portioning up done. That should make tomorrow's shift easier, which is great since they're a bit short-staffed Thursday too!
Very much appreciate the team pulling together on this task today.
We have 2 tasks tonight. This is the early shift at Oxford Mutual Aid, and there will also be a task at Ark-T Centre at 6:15pm. It would be feasible to make it to both if you want a full evening of GoodGyming.
We will be based inside Richard Benson Hall preparing food parcels in the food bank and helping the delivery drivers load them into their cars. We will do some restocking of the shelves too if there's time.
Please wear a mask. Anwen will be at the hall from 4pm, so feel free to turn up any time between 4pm and 4:30pm.
Cassy has done their first race with GoodGym. Performing on the day is a lot of pressure; Cassy's dealt with the nerves and turned up on the day to make it happen.
With the evenings getting darker earlier we raced over to Marston to complete a bulb-planting session with Marston Community Gardeners before it got too dark to work.
Working in pairs we planted hundreds of daffodil bulbs all along the road heading out of Old Marton towards the ring road. No messing about on this evening session - we knew we probably only had 40 minutes to get the job done, even with head torches and portable lights helping to extend the work time.
We all admired the professionalism of Mary's bulb-planting tool - the ultimate way to plant several hundred bulbs without getting repetitive strain injury! - although most of us made do with spades and trowels. That's something for the GoodGym tool wishlist for sure, right below our own scythe! We picked up a bucket full of litter along the way as a bonus good deed.
Finishing in the dark, we were promised hot chocolate all round for all volunteers on our next bulb-planting mission on 31st October meeting at the Up in Arms. Check it out and sign up in the Sessions listings.
This is our 3rd year in a row planting bulbs in Marston. I very much hope that we'll finally get to see the resulting flowers next spring - 2 spring lockdowns mean that we haven't made it back to see the display yet!
It was perfect running weather, so the group run to and from the task was a joy.
Report title courtesy of Bethan. Thank you!
Entries are open for this popular local trail race in Wytham Woods. Pre-pandemic it used to sell out, so don't delay if you're interested in taking part.
Register for the race here.
The organisers describe the race: “Inspired by local runners, we have designed two beautiful woodland trails set in ancient Wytham Woods.”
The 10k has plenty of climbing, but we all know that at the top of every hill is an opportunity to stop and admire the view!
As we head into autumn we're starting the prep for some spring beauty!
Nothing lifts the spirits like the first flowers of spring, and autumn is the time to get bulbs in the ground. We will plant bulbs in Marston this evening on the request of Marston Community Gardeners. It'll be fun to revisit in the spring to check them out in flower - hopefully next year we won't be in lockdown and will actually be able to!
Some tools will be provided but bring your own gardening gloves, and if you are able to bring a trowel or bulb planter it would be a great help. As the evenings are drawing in I suggest hi-vis for runners if you have them, and headtorches would be helpful for everyone. I'll bring our portable lights and a couple of spare head torches.
* Anyone wishing to run to the task as a group please meet in the car park of the Richard Benson Hall, 276b Cowley Rd at 5:45pm. There will just be a running group this week as it is a little too far to get to Marston in time if we walk. There won’t be a bag drop available.
* If you would prefer to meet at the task please meet us at 6:15pm at The Vicarage, Elsfield Rd, Old Marston OX3 0PR
Roger Bannister eat your heart out with your sub-4 minute mile!
Well done everyone for pushing yourselves out of your comfort zones and thank you for helping Sarah and Ben get the footage they need to complete the UK Athletics Leader in Running Fitness qualification. I'll be keeping my eyes pealed for funding to get more of you enrolled as Run Leaders, so if that interests you do let me know.
Here's our pyramid session in case you want to repeat it another time:
10 minute warm up - jog a couple of laps, then do some drills (high knees, bum kickers, lunge walks etc). It's important to get your muscles warmed up before launching into faster running.
Main session -
200m fast (0.5 lap of the track), 30 seconds static rest
400m fast (full lap), 1 minute static rest
600m fast (1.5 laps), 1.5 minutes static rest
400m fast, 1 min rest
200m fast, 30 sec rest
200m jog back to start/finish point
Cool down - at least one slow jog lap of the track (preferably 2 laps) and some gentle stretches. This is important even if you are tired after the session as it will help prevent your muscles seizing up or cramping. If you can't face jogging then a brisk walk will do!
Meadow Lane residents have formed a gardening group and are planning some guerrilla gardening along the edge of Meadow Lane Recreation Ground. Last night the GoodGym flash mob was called in to help clear the ground and get it closer to the point where it can be planted up.
Spreading out all along the lane we hauled out long grass, nettles, litter, burdock, and bindweed, tripping to and fro across the recreation ground with wheelbarrows to dispose of the detritus amongst the nettles on the Aston's Eyot side. A couple of frogs/toads were rehomed in a more peaceful spot (anyone know how to tell which is which?), and needles and glass carefully excavated and disposed of safely.
The residents had expected us to just clear one section, but with our bumper turnout we managed to do a MUCH longer section of the lane than they'd anticipated, almost joining up with the area near the playground which has already been beautifully planted up with cottage garden flowers.
We've received heartfelt thanks for our efforts: "Thank you so much for the amazing work you guys did on Meadow Lane tonight! It will make a beautiful public space for all to share."
Definitely one to watch in the spring - what will pop up in the new flowerbeds along Meadow Lane?
Welcome Shati - great to meet you!