Despite being mid-week in mid-January, with drizzle in the air, the Goodgym Colchester runners brought a wave of positivity to the streets and to Level Best Art Cafe. 17 of us!
We began with news about our epic take over at Junior Parkrun, as well as someone coming 1st at Parkrun!! We are all also super proud of Ella competing for Colchester Harriers Athletic club in a cross-country race for the 1st time. What an athlete!
We welcomed Hattie and Alex for their first runs. Great to see you do so well in the task and on the hill! Also great to have Andy back who smashed the hills too.
We warmed up with some weird compliment lunges and high knees before jogging up the hill with Ian at the rear, Emily and Helen leading the way and a spring in our steps.
Alison Ling welcomed us into their cafe, fresh from her yoga session. She showed us around and told us what needed doing and as always there was no hesitation. The skirting boards, bathrooms, tables and floor sparkled after 30 minutes of effort. WOW!
Alison told us about Level Best and their amazingly worthwhile work with adults who have learning disabilities. Inspiring! Alison then surprised us with chocolate cake but you have to earn that, so off to North Hill we went.
We took the longer route to the hill and then I timed 5 minutes of 3/4 paced hill efforts on the way up and recovery on the way down. Loved the enthusiasm and the heavy breathing! Go team GG Colchester.
We returned to Leisure World happy and with freshish air in our lungs to stretch and eat cake.
Next week we are helping Colchester in Bloom again which is always fun with a physical element.
A rainy December evening, and a merry bunch of runners met at Leisure World. We welcomed Andy for his first run, and set off to make our way into the Lion Walk Shopping centre. We had to dodge the several late night shoppers but managed to meet with the zone wardens who let us into their break room, via the public toilets.
It was a big room, but where there's a will, theres a way, and with the Magnolia paint divvied up, we got to painting, floor to ceiling, all the way around quite a big room. We had 30 minutes, and managed to get it all finished. And what's more, we managed to extend the good deed to not only help Colchester Borough Council, but the brushes and rollers were taken by Stuart to use in his school, and Chrissie took the biscuits that had been left for us to donate to Colchester Foodbank.
After the good deed was done, we made our way to the front of FirstSite for a high intensity cardio circuit session. 12 minutes for the 12 days of Christmas.
Well done everybody! Same time next week!
A fab bunch of enthusiastic GoodGymer's met on wednesday evening. We welcomed back Stuart for his 2nd run and Denise for her 3rd. The group rounded up their achievements from the week - a wonderful Parkrun PB for Vanessa and a lovely award for Colchester GoodGym from Colchester in Bloom who recognised the contribution we have made to the local community over the year!
Not wanting to waste any time and mindful of Tav's date with the Champions League we headed off towards our task. We ran up through Colchester Castle Park, before heading down East Hill and on to Eastgates, headtorches lighting the way. We arrived at the task in good spirits and gave the door a mighty knock, but sadly no one was there to meet us! After attempting to call the task co-ordinator and even sending them a friendly tweet reminder we had to abandon the task.
Although we weren't able to complete the task the group enjoyed a slightly longer run. We headed off through the town and back down North Hill, chatting and getting to know our newest members as we went.
After I got home, I received a lovely message from Michael at the Foodbank who send his apologies and explained he was away and had asked a someone else to meet us at the task. He was sorry the task had fallen through but hopes we will comes back soon. He says the biscuits will be ready and waiting!!!
Nb - The photo's below are from a previous task!
After a wonderful holiday it was great to be back with my fellow GoodGymers. 10 of us met at our usual spot in Leisure World and Ian provided a brilliant update of the weekends running events –with many of the Colchester GoodGym family taking part in the Langham 10k on Sunday. There were some brilliant times and a few PBs, well done to everyone who took part.
After a quick warm up, we headed off through the park to Colchester First Site. Eddie was enjoying some well-earned time off after a long shift so instead we were met by his lovely colleague Megan. First Site had asked for us to help them by clearing some overgrown bushes on the front lawn and so we grab our equipment and set about our task.
Bob came fully prepared, whipping out his extendable saw before setting to work, chopping some of the thicker branches. Vanessa, Katherine, Emily and Ian then dragged the branches over the wheelie bin and began chopping them in to smaller pieces whilst Louise, Jade, Chrissie and Suzzie all set about the smaller branches. It was hard work but satisfying to see what a big difference we made in such a short period. The light was fading fast and eventually the time came and we had to leave. We headed off back through the park and to the outdoor gym where we did our fitness session. 1 minute bursts on each piece of equipment before rotating round.
A dozen goodgymers ran to do a task at firstsite. We had some exciting news before we set off, including Ian achieving his 100th good deed. Congratulations Ian! This staunch Republican even received a letter from the Queen to congratulate him. We gave him a right Royal reception with a celebratory old thumper. We had a quick warm up outside leisure world, including sumo squats and walking lunges. Helen skillfully led the way through the narrow paths of Castle Park and on to first site where Eddie was waiting for us with a set of gardening implements and the instructions to smash, chop, saw and tidy. We set to work while motivating background music was provided by some impressive hula hoopers on the lawn. We took some photos inside first site to promote anti-plastic awareness through advertising the great work by replastic UK . Tav then led us off to do some fun and games fitness in the style of stuck in the mud and not so British Bulldog. Although it took us a while to understand the rules, we got the hang of it, with Holly, Nicola and Carl showing some nifty footwork.
Great job everyone. Eddie and FirstSite always appreciate our work!
PS ONE ELLA OF A RUN REPORT, right?
On a lovely sunny (slightly cooler) wednesday evening 14 GoodGymers arrived at leisure world full of smiley optimism, excited to be heading off to help Colchester in Bloom at their community allotment. After a warm welcome by Fay and quick warm up outside the leisure centre the group headed off towards the station, over the bridge and up the hill to the allotment. Pam was there ready to meet us when we arrived and eager to get us started on the evening's tasks.
we split in to smaller groups to tackle a number of different jobs - Ian and Vannessa cleared a new pathway, Bob, Louise, Emily and Tav moved sleepers, Carl and Dan collected together slabs and Kate, Katherine, Jade and Emily moved the debris and bug hotel. Once we had successfully cleared a big area the team worked together to lay plastic and secure it in place with sleepers. The newly plastic'd area made a lovely space for doing some exercise and Emily lead us all in some Yoga moves (supervised by Pam) down dog, into cobra and a cheeky childs pose!
Pam was keen to keep us working but as usual time beat us and before we knew it we had to head back down the hill and return to the leisure centre. Along the way we stopped to do some squats before spliting in to pairs to race over the station bridge. Once back at Leisure World the team took a vote and it was decided we would work on our conditioning, doing a stretching session. we gathered in a circle and worked our way through the major muscles, making sure we had a very good stretch in deed!
Eight keen goodgymer's met at Leisure World last night. Undeterred by the dizzying temperatures and with a desire to do good they set off on their way to Mary Frank House, a task on behalf of Colchester Borough Homes. Before setting off the group celebrated Tav's 100 good deeds, along with his 2nd place at Harwich Parkrun on Saturday and a big well done to Ella for her parkrun PB.
After a slight detour - oops! The group found Mary Frank House and after a few knocks managed to get inside and meet with the residents. The residents were enjoying a game of darts when we got there but explained the courtyard needed sweeping and tidying. The team split in to pairs and set about the task - boy was it hot work!! Bob displayed his exemplary sweeping skills and Ian and Emily joined up to make a fab team. Vanessa pinched the big broom from Tav and left him holding the dustpan!
After the courtyard was cleared the team re-grouped for a quick picture with John - the darts champion - before heading back to the leisure centre.
I hate cigarette butts and I cannot lie, y'all litterpicker's really fly. When Tav runs home with earwigs on his phone you see SWANS!
Hmm, my lyrical genius isn't what it used to be? We welcomed Angela back for her first run since having a baby, and it was a return to our litter picking for Rivercare. With the World Cup and Wimbledon over, and the weather slightly cooler we had a return to our more usual numbers, as 12 runners showed up for the task.
We had many congratulations to give including, Ella being first lady at her parkrun on Saturday, Dan climbling Mt Kilimanjaro, Emily doing a Half Marathon on Mt Snowdon, Bob running his longest ever run of 12.5 miles and Vanessa completing the midnight marathon for Breast Cancer Care at the weekend. What an inspiring bunch of do-gooders!
After the usual catch up and briefing, we made our way outside to do our warm up on the grass (or that brown patch where there used to be grass), and Emily taught us all how to floss, which was a fantastic warm up for our shoulders ahead of the litter picking!
We ran into the park to collect the equipment and then started our task, and I have to say that whilst it was a little bit disappointing for the runners that there wasn't all that much interesting to find litter wise, isn't it wonderful that at a time when litter is often at its peak, in the summer when people are spending more time outside, we really didn't have a lot to find. It was predominantly cigarette butts.
After the task we said good bye to Emily, Fay and Helen, and the rest of us made our way to the range for a fitness circuit - 3 stations (400m run, squats and press ups). Bob demonstrated excellent form on the press ups, Katherine did the deepest squats and Ian ran some speedy 400m, made even more impressive by the fact that both times he was running along the finishing strait, there was a freight train on the train line making lots of noise behind him.
Circuits done, and back home to leisure world for a stretch, and Bob lead the cool down, although I'm not sure he took it quite as seriously as he could have!
Thanks for a lovely first run back! And look forward to seeing you all again in a few weeks.
13 keen, enthusiastic (maybe slightly bonkers in this heat) runners arrived at Colchester leisure world for our wednesday group run! We did a quick welcome and caught up on team news - well done to Ella and Hannah on completing the Mersea Island half marathon at the weekend - before heading off out in to the sunshine. This week's task was a task for Colchester Borough Homes and saw us completing one of our longest runs to date to get there - nearly 5 miles in total. Once we arrived at Heathfields we were met by Maureen and her lovely dog Barney. They handed us the brooms, bags and dustpans before giving us some instructions. The team split in to 3's and set about sweeping us the dried leaves and garden debris as well as litter picking in the bushes out the front of the bungalows. It was a short task on account of the distance but we had a lot of fun meeting Barney and Maureen. After a final wave goodbye we headed back to leisure world for a very well deserved cool down and stretch off!
Summer is well and truly here, with light, bright evenings, long sleeves long since forgotten and a smell of warmth that hangs in the air there’s no deny it. It is my absolute favourite time of year to run and this week we were lucky enough to have an outdoor task for Colchester in Bloom.
13 of us headed off to the allotment. When we arrived we were greeted by Pam who was already there and keen to set us to work. Always up for a giggle Pam joined us in trying to teach Tav the floss dance. Spot those in the group who work with children, Emily and Louise flossed effortlessly whilst the rest of us….well let’s just say the hips don’t lie – we need more practice!
Pam split us in to two groups, diggers and planters. About half the group set to work digging over the large beds. It was tough and gruelling work as the ground was compact and very dry. Even Carl with his pick axe struggled to break the ground up. However, the group did a fantastic job and Helen cleared away several barrow-loads of weeds. The other half of the group set about planting, weeding and bulb sorting tasks. Ella and Tav wrestled a net, whilst Chris and Michelle sorted bulbs and Emily and I got stuck in to some weeding – pulling out all the weeds that had sprung up since our last visit only a couple of weeks ago.
Pam was keen for us to stay longer but with the light fading and the pub calling us for our GG social it was time for us to pick axe where we left off and head back!