Simon Porter

Windsor and Maidenhead

1Good deeds



Simon Porter has run a race with GoodGym for the first time. Sat 18 Jul 2020

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

Simon Porter went on a 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 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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Simon Porter signed up to a 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 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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Simon Porter has has earned their community cape by completing their first community mission. Wed 1 Jul 2020

Simon completed a community mission. Instead of watching TV or lying in bed, Simon was out there making their community a better place to be. For making that choice they have earned the community cape.

Simon Porter has done their first good deed with GoodGym. Wed 1 Jul 2020

Simon 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.

Simon Porter went on a community mission
Community mission
Windsor and Maidenhead

A paint-stain-kingly Good job

Wed 1 Jul
Report written by Amy Lovell

9 runners met at the Braywick Nature Centre to paint a wood-preserving stain on three circular benches and a fence for the centre's picnic area. We started this job last week and you can read all about that fine community mission by clicking here.

A special welcome to Fi and Simon, who joined us for this first time this evening!

In contrast to last week's heat wave, this evening was drizzly, but we had one extra pair of hands, much bigger tins of stain and a lot of determination to get the job done. Alistair from the Centre set us a very clear goal of completing a second coat on the benches and finishing the first coat on the fence and I'm pleased to say we nailed it!

Making a differ-fence

Yes I shamelessly stole that pun from Sula's report last week! Ana, Vanessa and Meggie were team fence. They worked gracefully and efficiently and their black clothes (sensibly chosen to conceal splashes of paint) lent them a mysterious air - so mysterious in fact that we nearly lost them entirely in the dark camoflage of the fence. They casually chatted in fluent Spanish and English and generally showed up team bench by being way cooler and more cosmopolitan than us.

Bench (im)press

Team bench were a bit less graceful. We spent a lot of time squatting in awkward positions and getting splatters of paint in our hair, but that's OK - some of us had taken anti-chafe measures at the start and we were armed with baby wipes. And what teamwork! With one team member lifting the bench, others wielding brushes and the rest coaching from an appropriate distance we were able to reach even the most elusive spots. Job satisfaction was high as we had the opportunity to cover all the bits we had missed last week, and the second coat (plus a layer of drizzle) really gave a beautiful gleaming finish.

We wonder if future visitors to the picnic area will take the time to lie on the floor and admire our handiwork? Given that many of them will be around 5 years old, we think they just might.

If you're interested to learn more about the Braywick Nature Centre's work, you can follow them on Facebook by clicking here. If you have children I would highly recommend the videos they have been making during COVID-19 lockdown, which you can find on their Facebook page. They are aimed at 4-6 year olds who would normally visit the Centre for outdoor learning at this time of year. They are very engaging and cover everything from stories about trees to pond dipping, bug hunting and campfire craft. You might also spot some familiar picnic benches...

After this evening's task, we set off in two groups for a 2.5k lap of the Parkrun route. We even managed to go in the right direction this time! Despite the damp evening it was lovely to be out running amongst the trees.

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Simon Porter signed up to a community mission
Community mission
Windsor and Maidenhead

More bench and fence painting at Braywick

Wed 1 Jul 19:00 pm
Braywick Nature Centre - Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead , Hibbert Road, Maidenhead , SL6 1UU
Help us finish the job we started last week!

We are helping Braywick Nature Centre put the finishing touches on their picnic area by painting benches and a fence with an attractive wood preserving stain. We got started last week and we're coming back for more!

Don't wear your best running kit, in case this stain stains.

Use the power of your legs to get to and from the Nature Centre if you can, and if you want a bit more Gym with your Good join a small group for a lap (2.5km) of the Parkrun circuit afterwards.

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