23 Month Streak
Mon 26th Sep at 6:45pm
As dusk descended onto The Emirates Stadium on Monday evening (headtorch season has begun!), Area Activator Simon met with Sarah, Charlie and Kim outside The Arsenal Community Hub, ready for our weekly group run. During our warm up, our crew mentioned that they were very excited about the London Marathon this weekend (and inspired by Eliud Kipchoge's exceptional run at Berlin on Sunday), while others had plans to go on a bat walk, and to visit London Zoo!
Out task had been scheduled for a 1.2 mile run up to the gorgeous Caledonian Park, following Mackenzie Road north from the stadium. A sprinkle of rain in the previous hour allowed us to run interrupted on quiet pavements!
As we turned the corner on Shearing Way and into the park, we were greeted to a beautiful sight of the famous Caledonian Park Clocktower lit up in the dark, and our two cycling Goodgymmers Alice and Natalie. Cally Park volunteer coordinator Miriam exited her choir practice to lead our team to four wheel barrows packed with hoes, rakes, spades and leaf grabbers, and lead us over to the gorgeous woodland trail area of the park.
Outside of her usual park maintenance projects, Miriam also helps as an event director for Caledonian Park junior parkrun- a 2km free weekly timed running event for children aged 4-14 years old every Sunday at 9am (always looking for new volunteers if you would like to get involved: https://www.parkrun.org.uk/caledonian-juniors/). During the run last Sunday, the marshal team noticed that quite a bit of mud and green foliage had washed over the paths through the wooded corridor, and had made the surface quite slippery under foot. Our objective this evening was to push as much of the mud off the pathway as possible to keep it safe for local visitors.
Within 40 minutes of pushing, scraping, digging and shifted, our team of 6 successfully cleared all of the pavement from the top of the park, all the way down to the Market Road basketball courts - the whole of "birdcage walk"- aptly named due to the bird feeders and water bowls positioned for avian neighbours to enjoy!
We trundled our equipment back to The Tollington Café, and posed for a necessary clocktower-at-night photo together before heading off on our separate ways, with 4 of us running the return trip to the Emirates. Congratulations folks- great stuff!
Upcoming News in Islington
Achilles International VI Guide Running sessions- Now at Arsenal station!
On Thursday 29th September, we will be hosting our first visually impaired guide running session at the Emirates Stadium.
Typically, these runs occur at Green Park and Paddington Rec Track on alternate weeks, but we have opened up the concourse of the Emirates as a new floodlit option during the Winter months.
Starting at 6pm at Arsenal tube station, runners and guide runners of all abilities are welcome. Find out more here!
Mildmay Community Centre Garden Maintenance Evening Session
On Friday evening (30th September), Area Activator Simon will be joining the resident gardener of Mildmay Community Centre in Newington Green for an evening of green fingered Autumnal maintenance.
We will have lights and gloves available for all. A lovely way to top off the week, at Islington's most impressive community carbon neutral Passiv Haus!
OCTOBER SOCIAL- Warming Soup and Noodles at Áu Laç Vietnamese Cuisine, Highbury Hill
After our group run to Market Road Gardens on Monday 10th October, we will be visiting the amazing Áu Laç restaurant on Highbury Hill for delicious Vietnamese food and refreshments.
Sign up here to get involved:
Thu 22nd Sep at 6:00pm
Fri 18th Nov at 7:00pm
Come and join us on this unique North London running challenge!Read more
Thu 22nd Sep at 6:00pm
Be a sighted runner and explore the world of guide running!Read more
Wed 21st Sep at 7:00pm
A crew of 5 Goodgymmers lent a hand at Traid, and then picked up a few more stragglers as 5 became 8 to help at the Westbury Banks Nature Reserve.
Getting Twiggy With It
The evening started bright and early at 6pm for Nurjehan, Charlie, Neil, and Gramps - and not so bright and early for young Dharmesh who, never not on fleek, turned up fashionably late. With his winning smile, however, it's hard to hold it against him.
We're old hands at this task by now, so much so that tonight we just walked into the shop and started storing the clothes away without even waiting for the good folk at Traid to tell us what to do. They were very pleased to see us and since they moved into their new premises, the shop floor is a lot more streamlined which meant that we were done with the job within half an hour.
We said our goodbyes and had plenty of time to snap a few stylish selfies outside the store. We then held some very tense negotiations about how we were getting to our next task. In the end, a socially paced 2kish run was agreed upon and with that, we ran towards the Harringay Ladder for a bit of distance. Running the ladder is actually great fun and it just so happens to be the next run in the Headtorch Run Series - come!
Anyway, before anyone could complain about a 2k run getting closer 3k, we had arrived at the Westbury Banks Nature Reserve.
We started the task by putting batteries in the head torches Gramps had acquired for the group earlier that day. As a testament to how much he spent on them, only about half of them actually worked but that was enough light to have us prepared for Goodgym After Dark.
The Friends group had started work over the weekend to create a dead hedge on the road side of the Reserve and our task for the night was to build upon this hedge and extend it. Our five Goodgymmers, now joined by Alex, Louise, and Sarah, got on with the task with gusto. Twigs, sticks, old christmas trees - they were all collected from the compost area and reused on the hedge. Our Goodgymmers were making such good progress that a sub-group splintered off and dealt with some overgrown weeds that were cluttering the central steps of the Reserve.
Just before 8pm, it got so dark we could no longer tell our melons from our aubergines, so we decided it was time to pack and head off towards the local watering hole for some refreshments.
So, is there a point to all of this? Well, apparently you should be careful with sugar-free sweeties, it gets dark when you blink, and judging a man by the size of his emoji is plain nude, erm, rude, I mean. You really had to be there for some of that! :) And lucky for you, you can next week - join us for more fun and shenanigans!