Rain, rain, go away
When the heavens opened shortly after 6pm, it was assumed tonight's turn out would suffer. But no, not with the GG TH crew.
From 6:30pm, runners started to arrive at our gorgeous hotel meeting spot, safely tucked away in a warm, dry room, securely storing belongings and admiring crisp white bed linen.
We left for our task meeting point at 6:48 and arrived at 6:53. Impressive! We were speedy, we were a bit drenched and we were very happy to see our fellow GoodGymers.
Two teams, two tasks
We kicked off with a quick hello from Sam, our Area Activator in Southwark who was joining us for the evening, and reminding us about the upcoming rounders social in the middle of June. Sam then led half the team to the task to the Parkview Estate where the team spent over an hour watering (yes, they still needed it, despite the rain) new trees and plants, lovingly planted by...us and committed members of the TRA. The task was led by Catherine and young son Liam, who always loves picking GoodGymers brains on many different subjects.
Meanwhile, over at the Cranbrook Estate, the team of 8 were busy cutting back hedges, trees, gathering leaves and litter aaand...putting up bunting. Of course. It was a busy old 75 minutes. Luckily the rain stopped fairly on during the evening, and we were able to enjoy this decent gardening workout to a backdrop of the sun peeking through the clouds as we approached 8:15 and the end of the task.
A small group made their way back to the Hotel to gather belongings, while the rest of the team headed straight home, glad to have made it out on this damp Monday night, reconnecting with multiple communities, putting fitness to good use, and ending the day with a sense that the week had got off to a good start.
Until next time.
Task 1: Cranbrook Community Food Garden Come and join the powerhouse team that is Eileen and Janet at the Cranbrook Community Food Garden this evening.Contacting us a few weeks ago, Janet explained that there was a lot of gardening catch-up to be done!
Task 2: Parkview Estate Catherine and young son Liam need a hand planting and distributing small pot plants!
What you need to know
The Group Run will be meeting at the Town Hall Hotel from 6:30pm to leave belongings and warm-up, before making our way to both tasks in one group.
If you would like to meet directly at the task, please meet us on Old Ford Road, at the Bonner Street junction by the City of Paris restaurant (74 Bonner St, Globe Town, London E2 0QP), at 6:50pm.
Please bring your own gloves.
It was a decent sized group in the end who gathered to meet Lizzie and Simeon from the Trees for Streets team.
The sun put in appearance; the Museum Gardens looked beautiful, the project interesting, and then brought beautifully to life by Simeon and Lizzie.
Why trees on streets matter
We started with an explanation about Trees for Streets: why we were there; the role of the lowly tree, and how more of them can benefit our beautiful borough. We learned about how the scheme is one of sponsorship, in partnership with the council, and how multiple households can club together for a tree to make this doable and affordable for all.
Then the serious business of the leafleting strategy was revealed: divided up into two wards, using our local knowledge of house-filled streets, we were divided into teams, along with highlighters and maps and dispatched to five areas of Bow and Bethnal Green.
We blitzed road after road, chatting to interested residents along our way. Those who headed further East managed to get a bit more running in, ending up with a decent step count for the day.
Mine's a flat white
We arrived back at base at 8 (some of us, who insisted on squeezing in "just that last half a street" a little after). And so the remaining leaflets were carefully laid out in team piles on our weighing bench where our flawless, highly sensitive adjudication system ascertained the thinnest pile was indeed Team Stepney, consisting of just a two-man effort of Johnny and Leo. What work. The lucky team won a £20 voucher for the lovely Chiringuito summer meeting spot, to help fuel a future Flat White Saturday for the boys.
We posed for some winning team pics, savoured the last of tonight's Cadbury's Heroes, before bidding farewell to Lizzie and Simeon, with some of the thirsty leafleters heading off for a post-task beer.
Well done, team. Massive congratulations on finding the perfect streets, covering multiple miles, turning out on a warm, free August Monday to get on board with this splendid scheme.
Until next time.
We're one of the three areas invited to get on board with the new Trees for Street campaign in Tower Hamlets! And there's work to be done... In this first phase of our partnership, we take to the streets with the Trees for Streets crew, in teams armed with maps and highlighters in a quest to discover our fittest flyer-ers.
What we will be doing
We meet in our usual Summer spot by Chiringuito at 6:45 for a briefing by the Trees for Streets team.
We'll warm-up before dividing into teams to head out to neighbouring streets most densely-populated by houses.
Our teams will be divided up into fitness ability: those runners among us will be heading to further-away streets; the walkers to those closer by. But the end goal is the same - to see who can flyer the most houses in an hour...
We'll return to base, where the winners will claim a prize!
We'll also be collecting any spare shoes (women's, men's and children's) for the Care4Calais team tonight, which we'll run across the road before we start our leafleting, so do bring these if you have any.
Twix and chats
Our incredible team of 20 rose to the multi-sport challenge of a busy task and run this evening.
We met in the gorgeous Museum Gardens, eating Twix fingers and chatting, while we waited for the team to assemble.
Our tribe tonight was made up of club runners, joggers, walkers and cyclists, complete with a plan for everyone to enjoy tonight's picturesque route.
Chris was navigating the route and front-runners this evening; Sara and Fiona our cyclists who doubled-up as splendid route navigators and backmarkers for the walkers, while our Beth backmarked and led the walking team. It worked a treat! We all arrived at Meath on time, ready to be greeted and briefed by Joanna and Tunde from Friends of Meath Gardens.
A small team joined Joanna and Tunde planting new trees in the far corner of the park, while the remainder of the team focused on a multi-task task: collecting litter, and pulling up weeds from around the new young trees, scattered around the park.
And did those kids get a haul: from hula hoops to mattresses; beer bottles to Red Bull tins, no trash stone was left unturned. Bags and bags were filled, as we enjoyed chatting to park-users and Meath residents as we went about our trashy task.
And then it was 8 and we were posing for our triumphant final pics, and our donation handover: yes, a multitask of tasks, this evening saw us gather any unwanted menswear and un-used tech for the Care4Calais crew, Tulio (and Joanna) for our temporary Bethnal Green residents who need a hand with some of the basics atm.
...And the shout-outs
To our Chris, Sara, Fiona and Beth, who led the sports activity. Well done for top teamwork and giving us a Group Run that saw us pottering along Bethnal Green streets, towpaths, and parks, without a single hitch.
To Harry, who brought you this week's spectacular pun.
Next week, we become Team GB...
And so 'till next week, folks, when we become I am Team GB as we head to Victoria Park, to once again join the phenomenal rangers team - sign-up here.
Until then, have a great week.
Choose from tonight's tasks: gardening with Margaret at Hollybush or litter-picking and weeding at Meath Gardens.
What's happening tonight?
We'll be meeting in Museum Gardens at 6:30pm for a warm-up and briefing.
At 6:45pm we'll be leaving for Hollybush Gardens to 'drop off' a small group for an urgent gardening task.
For those who fancy a longer run, we'll then speed down Roman Road, to help Joanna and the team pick some litter and pull some weeds in Meath Gardens.
At 7pm and 8pm we will also host two slots for donation drops in Meath Gardens, for Care4Calais' clients, new temporary residents of Bethnal Green, who could do with a hand on the clothing and tech front. (Tulio from Care4Calais will collect this at 8pm).
Items needed for the donation drop include:
1) Menswear in small or medium sizes, particularly summer wear and sportswear.
2) Men's shoes, up to size 10, and especially shoe sizes 8 & 9.
3) Old, unwanted tech: smartphones and tablets.
If you want to join the run and you're bringing items, we will all help carry them down to the task on our run!
Naike is a now a fully fledged GoodGym runner. They've just run to do good for the first time. They are out there making amazing things happen and getting fit at the same time.
It was a great-sized group that gathered to litter-pick and gravel-spread for our first Group Run of the year.
We met in the far corner of Vicky Park where we welcomed first time runners, ran through the health and safety bits, and enjoyed a couple of dynamic stretches.
Speeds for all
In two groups, we then sped off to The Hub to meet Mark and the team for tonight's activity. The Leisurely Pace Crew took it easy with me, with a nice slow jog via the most direct route, while those who meant business headed off for a mile-plus detour of the East of the park, with our running pro, Chris.
A couple more joined us at The Hub and before we knew it we were dispatched into two groups: the litter-pickers and the gravel-spreaders.
Two teams, two tasks
The litter-pickers headed out to all four corners of the park, enjoying the combination of a stroll with a lot of productivity (and great company), while the sturdy team of eight gravel-spreaders got a Monday workout-and-a-half, as they shovelled barrow full of barrow of gravel, wheeled it to the play area where a team of two proceeded to rake it over the swings.
That's a lot of contribution to your park tonight, team: helping distribute a surface to make the swings safer, and helping clear up after a big, big weekend in the park.
It was a lovely time together: warm, fun, appreciated...
More to come
It's the start of our new regular activity with the Parks team, who are keen to have us back asap, so... well done all.
Until next week!
Join us for our first Group Run of 2021!
We're heading to the vast outdoor space of Victoria Park together, where the grateful Rangers team will task us with a 'litter hotspot' mission-and-a-half.
A new, small task has been added to the litter-pick: a group will be moving a large pile of gravel, and distributing it over the park...
Come and kickstart your fitness routine for the week, as we meet beforehand to run, or walk-and-jog, our way to the activity...
What you need to know
We'll be meeting inside the Royal Gate East entrance to the park, opposite The Royal Inn on the Park.
After hello's and need-to-knows, we'll divide into two groups to head to our task:
Those who want to walk/walk-and-jog will join Area Activator Laura, to enjoy a leisurely route across the park.
Those who would wish to enjoy a slightly longer run will join our Chris B for a more scenic route to the task.
- We will be working with the Parks team on every aspect of health and safety, so rest assured all bases will be covered. We will also be bringing spare gloves, hand sanitiser and anything else we consider necessary!