Helen Preedy

Windsor and Maidenhead

Run Leader

3Good deeds

3runs

12cheers

Helen Preedy signed up to a community mission
Community mission
Windsor and Maidenhead

Magpies 150 Challenge - any time in December

Thu 31 Dec 23:00 pm
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Let's go on 150 Santa dashes and spread some festive cheer! Ho ho ho!

NOTE the date and time listed for this task are the end of December. You have the whole month to complete the challenge!

What is the #Magpies150Challenge?

This year Maidenhead Magpies Football Club are celebrating their 150th year. As part of their celebrations, and at a time when many local charities have been terribly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, they have launched the Magpies 150 Challenge, through which they are aiming to raise at least £150,000 to support 15 Maidenhead and Windsor based charities. You can find out more about the chosen charities by visiting their website here.

GoodGym Windsor and Maidenhead are supporting this brilliant initiative by taking on a different challenge every month, each one based around the numbers 150, 15 or 1.5. In September we collectively ran over 150 miles, in October we each picked up 150 pieces of litter, and in November we donated items to charity. We are fundraising via this Just Giving page, so make a donation and/or encourage friends and families to sponsor us for our efforts. Even just £1.50 from everyone would make a big difference.

The December Challenge

This month we are challenging ourselves to collectively go out on 150 'Santa dashes' - runs, walks or bike rides in Christmas fancy dress.

How does it work?

  • Sign up to this community mission

  • Dress up as Santa and go out for a run, walk or bike ride. Be prepared to do this a fair few times during December so we can collectively reach the target 150.

  • If you don't have a Santa outfit, feel free to dress up as an elf, reindeer, snowman etc instead - the more wow factor the better! Alternatively you could sign up for The Rotary Clubs of Marlow's Santa Fun Run, or the Thames Hospice Santa Dash, which are providing costumes, and you'll be supporting their campaign in addition to the Magpies'.

  • Keep in touch with Amy (amylovell@goodgym.org) to let her know how many Santa dashes you have done so we can keep track of our progress. Please also share photos and any anecdotes about your experience for the run report.

  • If you don't want to go it alone, click here to see a list of social festive 5km runs for up to 6 people to join.

  • Share the love on social media with #magpies150challenge, tagging GoodGym Windsor and Maidenhead.

Merry Christmas and happy dashing!

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Helen Preedy went on a training session
Training session
Windsor and Maidenhead

The Magpies 150 Challenge - September

Sun 20 Sep
Report written by Amy Lovell

#Magpies150Challenge

This year Maidenhead Magpies Football Club are celebrating their 150th year. As part of their celebrations, and at a time when many local charities have been terribly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, they have launched the Magpies 150 Challenge, through which they are aiming to raise at least £150,000 to support 15 Maidenhead and Windsor based charities. You can find out more about the chosen charities by visiting their website here.

GoodGym Windsor and Maidenhead are supporting this brilliant initiative by taking on a different challenge every month, each one based around the numbers 150, 15 or 1.5. We are fundraising via this Just Giving page, we hope our efforts will raise awareness for the Magpies and their fantastic community support work, and we'll have a bit of fun and get fit while we're at it.

Super September

We kicked off our year of 150s with a distance challenge, to collectively run or walk 150 miles. GoodGym normally work in kilometres so that would have been the obvious metric to go for, but we wanted to stretch ourselves, so miles it was! The original plan was to do it all on Sunday 20th September, but in the preceding fortnight the challenge took on a life of its own and became a whole weekend event. Running and fundraising on Saturday too - why not!?

And the weekend was a great success! In the end we covered over 196 miles, and we raised £278. Even though this was a virtual event with most runners going solo, the team spirit was fantastic and really spurred us on. WhatsApp and Strava didn't know what had hit them, and along with our legs, the emojis for clapping, cheering, trophies, medals, strong arms, 'boom', stars, rockets, celebrations, love, sweat and tears (of laughter) are going to need a few days' rest.

The weather was glorious and as well as pounding the pavements of our towns we also reveled in the beautiful scenery of Windsor Great Park, along the Thames Path, up Winter Hill, through Cookham and Bisham Woods, around Pinkneys Green and Maidenhead Thicket, and along the Greenway through Cookham fields and Braywick Nature Reserve.

So let's celebrate the team's achievements...

  • All Power to Sara - Sara Powell got the WhatsApp party started when she logged 7 miles early on Sunday. Sara has type 1 diabetes and hasn't been running for long, so managing this distance is amazing.
  • A Lovelly day for a run - top of the leaderboard James Lovell ran a whopping 16.5 miles in Windsor Great Park on Sunday morning - the furthest he's run in 21 years.
  • Speedy Preedy strikes twice - Helen Preedy reported 7.5 miles on Sunday morning and then 12 hours later she went out and did it again!
  • Super Stephan! Stephan ran nearly 9 miles with Meggie and another friend from MAC on Saturday morning. Then instead of putting his feet up he nearly doubled the distance by taking on the Maidenhead Millenium Walk with the Civic Society in the afternoon. An incredible achievement!
  • Make mine a half - Having each pledged 10 miles, Amy and Jen both rounded up to a half marathon. Angie was also 'playing rounders'...having pledged 5 miles, she pulled an early morning 10km out of the bag for the first time in 2 years.
  • What do you get if you put '0km in sub' in the middle of '150'? 10km in sub 50 of course! Well Lara did anyway, beasting her personal GoodGym target a week earlier than her training plan. She didn't rest there either. She added a further 5+ miles to the leaderboard just for fun.
  • Mystic Meggie always seemed to know where to be to cheer others on. She spotted Lara flying past on the Saturday while she was volunteering as a marshal at a pop up drive through flu clinic (well done for your good deed Meggie!). Then on Sunday she ran with Stephan and they bumped into first Nathalie (looking fresh as she powered through 6 miles), then Amy. Amy later passed Nathalie's husband Francis on his epic 10 mile mission, giving her another boost.
  • Allora miles - Allora contributed a lorra lorra miles (8 to be precise - well done!!) on her Sunday morning outing and gave Amy a big cheer from her car too.
  • Local legend - well done to Christelle for running 3 miles on Saturday, and then going on to cycle 15.5 miles over the rest of the weekend. On her bike Christelle is steadily cleaning up all the Strava 'Local Legend' titles around Dorney Lake. Kudos!
  • Reporting mileage from the 1990s... Well done Ana for 4 miles, measured in the present day on your cool retro Casio. No doubt there was an inspirational sprint finish at the end!
  • Mysterious miles - thank you and well done to Candiesa Kingston and 'Strava Athlete', for your 8 mile and 5 mile runs respectively. I don't think you were signed up to the GoodGym listing, but it was great to see you pop up on our leaderboard and to have your support! It would be great to meet you at a GoodGym community mission soon.
  • Route-spiration - Francis was following a route Michelle had run earlier in her seemingly effortless 10 miles. Anna Snelling also powered through 10 miles of river and woodland trails. One of the best things about Strava is how you can see other athlete's maps, and we love trail blazers like Michelle and Anna!
  • A wheel family effort - well done to Sophie and Elliot Lack, who banked 7 miles between them, as well as pushing 3 year old twins in a buggy with a wonky wheel - that's how they roll! Fellow twin parent Amanda also pushed a double buggy on her Saturday run, and then took her mileage to a total of 8.5 by running away from some cows with a friend on Sunday.
  • Isherwoods fight back - Tara and Paul are both in recovery from Covid-19, and they did amazingly well to run 5 miles each.
  • Its a family affair - Clare G also made a family event out of the challenge when she accidentally (on purpose?) signed up husband Rod. Well done for your collective 7 miles!
  • 90 minute warm-up - Jess set a record for the longest ever warm up, playing (and winning 6-0!!) a full football match before her run - awesome effort!
  • Ankur what!!? By Sunday evening we knew we had hit the magical 150 and Ankur was tired after a long bike ride. He had every excuse to duck out of his planned evening excursion, but he had already carb loaded and was feeling the team spirit, so he donned his head torch and went for it anyway! His 9 mile adventure took him along the river and through the deep dark woods - Bear Grylls has nothing on him.

What a great weekend, and in support of so many worthwhile local causes. Keep an eye on the GoodGym Windsor and Maidenhead Facebook page and Happenings page for next month's 150 challenge and many more ways to get involved.

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Helen Preedy signed up to a training session
Training session
Windsor and Maidenhead

Magpies 150 Challenge - September

Sun 20 Sep 09:00 am
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Let's collectively run 150 miles to raise funds for 15 local charities

This year Maidenhead Magpies Football Club are celebrating their 150th year. As part of their celebrations, and at a time when many local charities have been significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, they have launched the Magpies 150 Challenge, through which they are aiming to raise at least £150,000 to support 15 Maidenhead and Windsor based charities. The chosen charities are listed in the attached picture, and you can find out more by visiting their website here.

GoodGym Windsor and Maidenhead are aiming to support this brilliant initiative by taking on a different 150 fitness challenge every month. The challenges will all be based around the number 150, 15 or 1.5. The idea is that we take the challenge, we each donate at least £1.50 via this Just Giving page and we raise awareness for the Magpies and their fantastic Community Care programme while we're at it. Oh and obviously we have fun and get fit too!

This month's challenge is to see if between us we can collectively run or walk 150 miles in a day - Sunday the 20th of September. Sign up, let us know how far you plan to go in the comments, and when you've done your distance log it here with Challenge Hound. Don't forget to send Amy a photo for the run report too! (amylovell@goodgym.org)

Running is easier with friends and cheerleaders! Drag a friend along on your run or reach out to the GoodGym community to find a running buddy. Share your route with others so they can be there to give you a boost, and don't forget to wear your GoodGym t-shirt, superhero cape, or something else to let passers by know that you are participating in something epic!

Does this kind of thing float your boat? What do you think the 150 challenge should be next month? Amy is thinking of making us climb 15,000 feet or perhaps run up a steep hill 150 times one weekend. If you have a better idea, please let her know!

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Helen Preedy has cheered 10 times. Sat 18 Jul 2020

Helen has helped keep other people motivated, Helen has noticed what others have done and cheered 10 people. We doff our caps to you Helen.

Helen Preedy has run a race with GoodGym for the first time. Sat 18 Jul 2020

Helen has done their first race with GoodGym. Performing on the day is a lot of pressure; Helen's dealt with the nerves and turned up on the day to make it happen.

Helen Preedy went on a race
Race
Windsor and Maidenhead

Red and yellow and Pinkneys Green, purple and orange and blue...

Sat 18 Jul
Report written by Amy Lovell

I can run a rainbow, run a rainbow...

Pride parades and running events around the world have had to be cancelled this year, but like many GoodGym areas, we still wanted to celebrate Pride and show our support for the LGBT+ community. Our original plan was to join GoodGym Norwich in signing up to the #RunWithPride virtual event, but Area Activator Steven Hitcham clearly did a great job getting people involved, because it was sold out before we had the chance. So we decided instead to raise money for Switchboard.

Switchboard is the UK's confidential helpline open to LGBTQ+ communities and beyond, for anyone who wants to talk about gender identity, sexuality, sexual health and emotional wellbeing. As the charity explain in their Just Giving Story:

It's so critical that we talk about mental health, tackle stigmas and work to reduce levels of loneliness across the LGBTQ+ communities now more than ever.

We wanted to plan a Pride event that would bring people together whilst remaining within Covid-19 social distancing guidelines, so we designed a 5km route around the lovely Pinkney's Green area and assigned runners different start locations to ensure it wouldn't turn into an accidental Parkrun. We also split the group into clockwise runners and anti-clockwise runners, so that we would pass and be able to give each other a cheer on the way round.

The original #RunWithPride event gave runners the option to choose their distance, so we did the same. We expected most runners to do 1 or 2 laps, but then Wendy got involved...She signed up early and set the bar much higher, punching for a whopping 25km! Then there were the husband and wife teams who wanted to do their own family relays, and the ones who also had to fit in cricket matches.... Suddenly our little Saturday morning outing was taking on a life of its own!

On race day route master James Lovell was the first to lace up his trainers. He ran the course armed with chalk and heroically marked arrows to help everyone find their way round. Then he ran it again!

Tara and John also jumped the 9am gun, heading out for multiple laps, and stopping to share tasting notes on last night's red wine when they passed.

Then 9am came round and despite the dry weather, a rainbow magically arced over this corner of Maidenhead... twelve-ish runners took to the course and there was much whooping and cheering to be heard every five or ten minutes as we passed each other.

Without the classic start to finish linear race structure everyone was mixed up - faster and slower, old friends and new friends, single lappers and multiple lappers, runners on home turf and those a bit less familiar with the course who were making it up as they went along...it was a real celebration of doing your own thing!

And as if the boost we got from each other wasn't enough, we were also cheered on by each other's families. A special mention goes to Amy's Mum and Dad, who came from Reading to set up the only official marshal station.

Extra kudos to Lara, who reached for the stars and smashed her GoodGym target to run 10km in under 52 minutes. Way to go Lara! And when that rainbow's shining over you...that's when your dreams will all come true...

I can wear a rainbow too

Runners had been encouraged to wear a spectrum of colours to celebrate the diversity and joy synonymous with Pride, and - perhaps inspired by the proliferation of rainbow imagery during Lockdown -they did themselves proud. There were rainbow head bands, wristbands, socks and ribbons a-plenty; Amanda and her running buggy co-pilot sported matching leggings and shared a fabulous cardigan, Sula also had zany leggings and Em was ready to pirouette round the course in her tutu. There were lots of bright GoodGym t-shirts and some great rainbow tops including Elly and Hayley's positive positive positive anddo what makes you happy slogan tees, as well as a lovely number Sophie had nicked from her mum.

Later on in the day Clare even carried her rainbow beach towel and Meggie's handsome dog Klaus kept cool in rainbow sunnies and a tasselled kerchief. Along with Paul they kept the event going through the midday Sun and beyond.

But hands down the prize for best dressed goes to....

Ana! Representing her home-land of Mexico, this chica sported a full sarape (poncho) and topped it off with a curly rainbow wig. We like your style - tres hurras por Ana!

The pot of gold

At the end of the race, the pot of gold for each of us is knowing that we have pushed ourselves to go out and do something positive; and there is a real pot of gold for Switchboard too. So far we have raised £190, and here is the link for the Just Giving page if you would like to donate too. We really appreciate your support!

What's next?

You heard about us squeezing the day in the 48 hour virtual relay... you followed that Pride rainbow, and now you're hungry for more... Well you're in luck! We have loads of spaces coming up on community missions over the next few weeks. These sociable group events involve running, walking or cycling to a meeting point where we work together to carry out a task that helps our community. Check out our 'happenings page' for all details and to sign up.

Amy is also cooking up some great running events to support the Magpies 150 Challenge. Intrigued? Watch this space..

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Helen Preedy signed up to a race
Race
Windsor and Maidenhead

Run with Pride at Pinkneys Green

Sat 18 Jul 09:00 am
Pinkneys Drive, Maidenhead , SL6 5DS
Support Pride &LGBTQ charities and cheer on fellow GoodGym members
  • One 5k circular route around the beautiful Pinkneys Green area in Maidenhead. Exact route to be shared nearer the event with runners who sign up.
  • Choose how many laps you sign up for (run 5k, 10k, 25k or even 50k!) and comment below so we know what to expect.
  • Optional £10 entry + booking fee to support Pride & LGBTQ charities. If you pay, you get a medal! - UPDATE - the official virtual race is now full so will be unable to enter. Amy is setting up a Just Giving page instead and if you donate you will still get a medal. It might just be a bit more hand made....watch this space for more details. If you enter the details will also be emailed out.
  • You will be assigned to one of 3 or 4 start/finish points along the route so we are not running in a big group and we can maintain social distancing
  • Half of us run clock-wise and half anti-clockwise so we can pass each other on the way round and cheer each other on
  • Dress in bright/rainbow colours to represent the Pride flag, celebrate the diversity and joy synonymous with Pride events so we can easily spot each other.
  • Possible staggered start times if the number of sign-ups compromises social distancing
  • Option to just go and run by yourself any time this day if you're a night owl or want to pick your own route.
  • Register before the 15th of July to give Amy time to make a spreadsheet...
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Helen Preedy went on a training session
Training session
Windsor and Maidenhead

When life throws you lemons…Squeeze the Day

Mon 25 May
Report written by Amy Lovell

Lemon tell you how it all began…

GoodGym Windsor and Maidenhead only launched three weeks before Covid-19 necessitated a hold on group runs. Although the first few weeks had been a great success and the magic of GoodGym was starting to spread in the Royal borough, this GoodGym community was not well established and naturally therefore engagement in lockdown was limited. Until…

Leeds Trainer Aron Fulton had an idea to re-create the Endure24/Thunder Run style event in a virtual 48 hour relay. Having run Endure in the past, Windsor and Maidenhead Trainer Amy Lovell thought it looked relay fun, and a few other runners put their hands up and roped their friends in too.

A couple of days before the start, we had a plan that would get us to 390km. Most of the darkest hours weren’t filled, but we felt 390 was a respectable number (almost all the way from Maidenhead to Durham!) and Amy was too polite to ask anyone to run in the small hours anyway.

Is that a lemon in your pocket…?

Believing that the baton needed to be the same for every runner in the team, Amy cast around for ideas, and Nathalie De Juan landed on a lemon: pocketable or palmable, easily procurable (especially if your children have a plastic lemon in their toy kitchen), packed with nutritional value, and very handy for a post-lap G&T – it was parfait for the job! The lemon was picked, and team Squeeze the Day (or even 2 days) was born.

Amy and her husband James Lovell plotted everyone’s addresses on an OS map using little blue stickers and came up with the imaginatively named routes A and B, which passed most people’s houses so that runners could cheer each other on from their doorsteps.

The chalk of the town

As the countdown ticked from days to hours, Wendy Rumble heroically cycled the routes chalking helpful arrows at junctions, and other runners created chalk art on the pavement outside their houses to spur others on. As Sophie Lack donned her GoodGym t-shirt and citrus-themed leggings for the inaugural lap, the heavens opened and washed away half the chalk. Sophie got drenched as she set out, but we were not fazed – we never expected it to be easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Now dear reader, make yourself a nice fresh lemonade and sip it slowly as you read the next bit. Its long, but the team had 24 runners and each and every one deserves recognition.

Strong Girls Club

The first 50k was all run by ladies...Sophie only started running this year, but she powered round looking lemony-fresh.

Nathalie hadn’t run close to 10k since having children and was thrilled to slice nearly 20 minutes off her expected time. The rest of us were very proud but not surprised – she did the couch to 5k course with local parents’ running group Buggy Squad in the winter and buggy running does make you strong!

Jen Francis was caught unawares by Nathalie’s early finish but she took an arty photo of her lemon with her trainers, blew our minds by sharing her live location on WhatsApp (game-changer!) and sailed round for the first of her 4 laps – we can report she looked similarly relaxed and gazelle-like for all 4.

Ros Cooke was up next and raised the bar by pushing round her daughter in a double buggy. This was an awesome achievement given the by now gale force winds and the hills on route B. She must have decided this was a good way to transport a toy lemon though, as she did it again on Sunday and Monday. Ros's mileage also goes towards her challenge to run 100km in May in support of the Darby Rimmer Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Foundation. You can find out more and support Ros by clicking here.

Wendy was next. As a pioneer in the buggy running world, she is on The Independent’s ‘Movers List’, which recognises individuals who have inspired their communities through sport, so she’s running Royalty. No surprise therefore that she had Fran Sille’s husband Nick running alongside at a safe 2m distance to shield her from her doting fans, and that an ice cream van was waiting for her at the finish. At the end of her second lap later in the event she continued behaving like a pro with an ice bath in her paddling pool, and by lap 3 husband John Rumble was providing a mobile water service in their lemonsine.

Thirst class

The next 50k were all about firsts:

Paul Isherwood was the first male to carry the lemon, and quicker than he expected as well. Kudos to Paul for a no fuss midnight run on Sunday too.

Sula Bransden was the first and only to run in Windsor rather than Maidenhead, as well as the first to pour herself a celebratory GoodGin and Tonic having knocked an impressive 6 minutes off her expected time. She did it all again on Sunday as well.

Fran Sille squeezed us our first sub-50 lap, and showed us she had plenty more juice in the tank when she went on to run a double on Sunday morning and then on Monday zoomed through the team’s overall fastest lap (46.04 including a couple of Strava crowns – can we make a segment pun here? Do lemons have segments or is that just oranges?)

James Lovell also hit sub-50, which was no mean feat having just done bath-time and bedtime with 4 children aged 5 and under.

We also welcomed our first same-day recruit, Lara ‘I now regret this morning’s 7k’ Edmonstone-West. Well she needn’t have worried about that earlier 7k – she bagged herself a PB and completed her lockdown Medal Mad challenge all in one fell GoodGym swoop. Boom!

Citrus got real

Meanwhile, there was fighting talk on the WhatsApp. As camaraderie grew, the night slots started to fill… John Rumble (aforementioned water boy who had been signed up blind by Wendy and was yet to run) said something like:

It might be the wine talking, but I’ll do a 2am lap.

James said he would tomorrow if John did tonight and John immediately set his alarm. Sophie then recruited her Dad as bodyguard and talked herself into a Sunday 10pm slot and her friend Tara Isherwood (relatively early on her running journey and totally new to GoodGym) heroically put both herself and husband Paul (our first male runner from earlier) forward for night-time escapades.

Tara also waved a magic wand and introduced Sunday evening runner Michelle Burke and Saturday night hero Ankur Nangpal. Ankur went from ‘I think a double header might be too ambitious’ to ‘if you give me till 2.15 I reckon I could get 20 done’ and Amy handed over to him at 23.41 still zinging with adrenaline after her first lap. That adrenaline kept flowing for all 4 of Amy’s laps, earning her the prize for most consistent runner at 47.something minutes every time.

Nocturnal creatures

The next few hours are also best described in Ankur’s words as Amy wasn’t awake to witness anything else…’Leaving a crunchie and some water on the driveway’….’Halfway 68 minutes now ready for the murder!!’….’conditions are perfect.’…’Keep pushing John awesome unsociable hours work’…’I hate you Tara, safe running, tear it up’…and best of all:

As long as you’ve covered yourself in Vaseline you’re good.

We are also delighted to report that Tara bashed out a PB on her lap even though she stopped to take a photo of a fox. We suppose she didn’t slow down for any foxes when she did the same the next night as she squeezed in another PB – simpeely amazing running!

’Here comes the sun….’ (John Lemon)

Wendy and Fran were up with the sun for the next three laps and then we welcomed fresh legs Anna Snelling. Anna took a tumble but didn’t require any lemon-aid and kept smiling.

Wo-oah we’re halfway there, wo-oah…lemon on a pear

In no particular order, other stars who ran for the first time on super Sunday included:

Anna’s husband Matt Snelling - mystery man Matt has a no phone rule on runs, so we couldn’t track him, but he powered round route B like a machine, hitting every cheering post exactly at the forecast time.

Stephan - top cheerleader Stephan set up a high-vis marshal station at the end of his drive complete with lemons and gin and tonic – until the wind made it too dangerous for the bottle and glass to stay out. That’s his story about how the gin disappeared anyway… Stephan got a bit lost on his lap and ended up clocking up a few bonus km but he was still in GoodGym spirits when we found him despite the sun now being hot enough to brown a lemon meringue pie.

Meggie – like for many others, this was Meggie’s first taste of GoodGym. She got into the spirit straight away though, cheerleading on both routes and adorning her Parkrun t-shirt with a beautiful fabric lemon so we could easily identify her.

Rekha – first heard of GoodGym just a few days before the event when she appeared outside Amy’s house like some kind of magical vision in running kit while Amy was creating a chalk fairy-tale scene on the pavement to cheer up passers-by. Amy squeezed the moment and talked her into to 2 laps. Rekha definitely does have magical powers because there can be no other explanation for her massive lemons.

Michelle – also appeared like a vision to Amy, this time while Amy was flagging towards the end of her third lap. Michelle was also new to GoodGym, but she certainly looked the part in her red t-shirt when she came out to cheer. Minutes later she started her lap and she whizzed round despite having run 11 miles the previous day.

Francis De Juan – attracted the best cheer of the weekend, an unconventional ‘c’mon bum head’ from his son. Inspired by wife Nathalie’s earlier performance he too knocked nearly 20 minutes off his expected time. His behaviour on Monday proved him to be anything but a bum head. He stepped into the breach when we were way ahead of schedule and Joanne Whitfield was blissfully unaware so had taken her dogs for a walk.

Slice slice baby

It’s not surprising Jo wasn’t following the WhatsApp chatter too closely. In the middle of all this running she only welcomed a new grandchild into the world! Congratulations Jo on the beautiful new addition to your family! Being a grandmother obviously suits Jo since she squeezed an extra km into her Monday loop and later found the energy for a 33km bike ride and 10 minutes of skipping!

Adam takes the Stage

As a (lemon)balmy Sunday evening gave way to darkness, we wished happy running to the superstars who were stepping up to squeeze the night as well as the day: Sophie, Tara, James and fresh runners Adam Stage and Helen Preedy.

Adam was the only person Amy had the guts to ask to run at night in advance of the event. She knew he was a nutter (in a good way, like the ground almonds in a lemon drizzle) and he didn’t disappoint. He went off piste down the Jubilee River, up the Thames and up Winter Hill (twice!), where he hit 20k, handed over the lemon and paused to watch the sunrise. His photos were a beautiful treat for the rest of us to wake up to on Monday morning. While the relay continued he enjoyed another 10k run home and then a pancake feast that even Heston B-lemon-thal couldn’t rival. Adam has signed up for a 100 mile race next Summer and we wish him every success. If you’re looking for inspiration you can read about his journey here.

Speedy Helen Preedy took the lemon at 04.17 and headed off on route B. Kudos to Helen for starting this early, because the slot she first signed up for allowed at least an extra 40 winks. We were now ahead of schedule, and on track to squeeze in all the laps Amy had rather optimistically wedged into Monday.

Extra kudos to Helen too because, as the Sports Development Manager for RBWM, she brought GoodGym to the borough and without her we would all just be standing around like lemons.

Lemon curd and lemon did

As the end of this amazing weekend drew close, the team spirit was off the scale. Although many of us had only just met whilst running past each other’s houses, we would support each other to lemon and back.

Bringing the event full circle, Sophie set out for the final lap. She was tired but determined to take that lemon home. As she passed the now familiar cheering posts along route A we all wanted to give her a big squeeze, but we had all read the Covid-19 guidance for GoodGym runners and it was ridiculously hot, so we showered her with love from our sprinklers and hoses instead. As she powered towards her doorstep (and past it and then back again to get to exactly 10k) the cheers could be heard at Windsor Castle. Sophie melted onto the pavement and into the arms of her husband and twin boys like a lemon sorbet. There was not a dry eye in the house. Epic.

Low hanging fruit

So what was the view from the leaderboard? Well it was clear from early on that the York teams included the Grand old Duke’s 10,000 men and they are obviously much fitter than us from all those hill repeats. And we could see that team Do you relay like it!? were being a bit wicked by running shorter laps, but we enjoyed some close competition with Tu Be or not Tu Be, who finally made up their minds at the last minute and pipped us by 1 lap.

But we weren’t bitter

We were super proud to make it to 490km, a whopping 90km further than our original target, and the equivalent of running past Durham and all the way to Gretna Green. Besides, in GoodGym we win by strengthening communities and putting our energy into something Good, and in that sense we felt like we were top of the lemon tree. The event peely brought us together, and put the zest back into lockdown life and into running. Team, you were simply the ZEST!

Ex-squeeze-me please, isn’t GoodGym meant to involved a practical task?

Well alongside all this running the team were responsible for looking after at least 30 small children, we poured over 19 million gin and tonics, Jen organised an amazing 1 mile challenge for over 130 people at Maidenhed Athletics Club, and James casually put up some scaffolding, renovated a window and fixed a leaky toilet. How do you like them lemons!?

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Helen Preedy signed up to a training session
Training session
Leeds

GoodGym 48-hour virtual relay

Sat 23 May 12:00 pm
home, Leeds, Home
We're taking things up a level

At the end of April, GoodGym Leeds staged a real-time virtual relay over 12 hours. It was great fun, and it gave me an idea to try something a bit bigger and try and get some other areas involved.

The idea would be to create something a bit more like the 24-hour relays (Endure24, Thunder Run, Equinox etc). As we only want people running once a day, but running multiple laps, I think running for the whole spring bank holiday weekend is our best idea. The simple idea is this (see below for more detailed rules)

  • Teams of up to 24

  • 10k laps which you can run or walk.

  • 48 hours (starting Saturday midday and finishing Monday midday)

  • The aim is for each team to run as far as possible in the 48 hours allowed.

  • Only one runner 'on course' at any one time

  • Each runner must carry a baton and pass it virtually to the next runner

  • Each runner is only allowed to run once on any day (but multiple back-to-back laps are allowed)

  • There is no obligation to run at night, teams can take a break at any point

  • Water stations, refreshments, toilets and showers are all located in the start/finish area (probably, I don't know, it's your house!)

While I've said teams of up to 24, feel free to create your own teams however you see fit. Make a team with a few mates and just commit to running one lap each on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Or run solo and see how far you can manage in your own house. It's totally up to you.

Camping in your garden, showering under a hose pipe, sleeping in a bivvy on your balcony or setting up a fort in your living room are all encouraged to recreate the festival atmosphere.

If you want to set up a rival team, send me an email (aron@goodgym.org) with your team name (with an obligatory pun, of course), and a team captain, and I can chat to you about planning.

I would also very much encourage creating a big twitter thread or instagram story, we had a lot of fun with it so I'm hoping you do too.

The Nitty Gritty

  • Your baton can be anything - a kitchen utensil, a toilet roll, a kettle. Totally up to you. Baton handovers will generally be via whatsapp/text message (unless you share a house with another team member!)

  • As long as your last runner is on course before 12:00 on 25th May, your distance for that lap will be included in your team's total.

  • If you have 24 runners averaging less than 1 hour per 10k (including changeovers) then you will either need to take a break, or one or more runners can run multiple laps back to back.

  • Laps should be a true lap - from your house or workplace/on a treadmill/around the garden etc - and start and end in roughly the same place (no crazy net downhill runs). If you run multiple laps in the 48 hour period, the same lap should be used. (Exceptions can of course be made - e.g. if you are running a mission etc)

  • If you are currently shielding, can not leave the house, and/or do not have a garden, feel free to contact me to suggest an alternative activity.

  • For clarity, a day is considered a calendar day (00:01 - 23:59). You can therefore run twice in a 24 hour period (e.g. Saturday night/Sunday morning) but not twice on Saturday.

  • As with all GoodGym activities, you take part at your own risk, and you should never feel pressured to do something you don't feel comfortable doing (e.g. running at night). It's all just a bit of fun really!

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Helen Preedy signed up to a group run
Group run
Windsor and Maidenhead

Sawing firewood at Braywick Nature Centre

Wed 11 Mar 18:45 pm
The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Town Hall, Maidenhead, SL6 1RF
This is going to be saw much fun!

Welcome to GoodGym Windsor and Maidenhead! We're a friendly and social group who combine exercise with helping out in the local community. We meet every Wednesday at Maidenhead Town Hall to get active and do a physical task to help the charities and community organisations in our area.

The Task:

This week we will head into the lovely and leafy Braywick Nature Reserve, where our friends at the Nature Centre need some help preparing firewood. We will work in small groups with hand saws to cut some recently felled trees into 12 inch lengths and to wheelbarrow them back to the Nature Centre to stack in the wood store.

The wood will be left to season over the Summer and will be used in campfires with school groups as part of their outdoor learning the following Winter and Spring.

This is going to be a fantastic upper body workout...we hope our arms won't be too saw the next day!

Please note it will be dark in the woods, so head torches are a must! Please also bring a pair of gardening gloves if you have them.

The Run/Walk:

GoodGym is for everyone. We welcome runners of all abilities and this week it is possible to walk to the task if you would prefer. We always have a back-marker so no-one is left behind - we're about achieving something together so you'll always be welcome no matter what your pace is.

See you there!

GoodGym Windsor and Maidenhead has been made possible with the support of The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council

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