Oh, Christmas tree(s)! 🎄🏃

17 Goodgymers helped their local community in Southwark
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Wednesday 4th January 2023

Report written by Sam Lefevre (he/him)

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New Year, New GoodGym Southwark Group Run?

Just because the year changed from 2022 to 2023, didn't mean our group run had to change too. We were back after our deserved festive break with the same format, but with a few new faces. We got introduced to Lily and Maksym who came for their first GoodGym experience and got their first good deed ever! Kudos to you both! There were a few travellers who had come from afar namely from Camden (Sophie), Lewisham (Clare and Steve) and Lambeth (Joao, Magdalena and Nathan).

Although, it was a fairly mild night, there was this bitterly cold wind in the air. Yet, after everyone bunched up in Old Spike to listen to Sam's GoodGym intro speech, we braved the cold night to quickly warm-up down in the alleyway.

Sam's ice-breaker question tonight, was to do with the fact it's the New Year, so people usually have goals in mind...but he wanted to be inclusive and included to other questions: What are your 2023 goals?, What are your hopes for the world in 2023? or What was your best/worst Christmas present that you received this year (if you celebrate it)?

There were a bunch of answers, but from memory there were running goals, trying new sports, doing more GoodGym (more than last year), being a better person, world peace, reading a book a week, sustainable shopping, running and finishing the Isle of Wight Ultra and Steve is now the proud owner of a warm cuddly onesie.

Competitive by nature

With Sam leading from the front and Daryl backmarking the back of the run, we all ran 2k together from Old Spike through Nunhead and finished off with a strong uphill incline to Telegraph Hill Lower Park. Technically, we were in Lewisham as Southwark does not have drop-off points for Christmas trees as they ask people to email the council for collection. Thus, we found ourselves just across the border (hope Kim (the AA of Lewisham) doesn't mind). Once everyone took a breath and Sam took out his maps, he assigned four sub-team captains to take charge of their team to find Christmas trees in certain streets and areas around Telegraph Hill Lower Park. We were met by Alex who met us at the task meeting point and so he was promptly put in a team. Sam made it competitive by saying the team that collected the most Christmas trees won the box of Lindor Dark Chocolate (a re-gift).

Nathan, Alex, Clare and Sophie started strongly by being the first team to drop off the first tree and then they disappeared for the rest of the 30 minute session.

Daryl, Nelly and Magdalena quickly brought two trees over and since Emma had just cycled in, she joined their team as they went on the hunt for more trees.

There was nothing for a good 10 minutes as Sam waited at the drop-off point and saw three residents bring their Christmas trees over by themselves. Then suddenly from three different streets, three teams brought a tree each and thankfully, it included the two teams (Steve with Lily, Maksym and Clare as well as Emily with Joao, Lindy and Gemma...ended up being their one and only tree) that hadn't dropped off a tree yet and Daryl's team took a further lead with a third tree.

As the time drew closer to quarter to 8, Nelly and Magdalena brought a fourth tree for Daryl's team. Yet, suddenly in the distance, Steve, Lily, Maksym and Clare assisted each other to carry 3 Christmas trees and suddenly it was a tie for top spot! It was exciting as some of the World Cup games... Daryl's team were determined to win, so he went off to find another tree (keep up, we're up to five now) and as luck would have it, a man on his electric scooter was dragging two Christmas trees (as one wasn't big enough for his front Bay window....first world / rich problems...). Nelly and Magdalena swooped in and helped him untie the trees and "officially"/"unofficially" take the win with 7 trees in total for their team! If that didn't happen, it would have made it more interesting as if we forgot...Nathan, Alex, Clare and Sophie came back at the end with 3 trees themselves and took their total to 4! Joint second place, so we dragged and "stole", a total of 16 Christmas trees (7, 4, 4 and 1) in 30 minutes!

All in all, everyone had a great time running around the roads near Telegraph Hill on a small treasure hunt. We departed after a group photo saying goodbye to Alex, Emma and Steve. Later on in the run back to Old Spike, Lindy split from us. We finished off with some stretches before a few of us went for a drink or two at Jumbi.

Thank You to all the GG-ers

A personal thanks from me to all those who came out tonight! It was great to see 16 (17 including me) GoodGymers come out last night and as I said it reminded me of pre-pandemic days. Thank you for keeping up with the run as it was hill, cold and dark in places. Plus, for some it was your first run in a long time, so kudos to you! I was impressed with everyone's spirit to get involved with the task and the competition, so thank you for getting stuck in!

Session Leader
Maksym Semikin
Lily Chau
Clare Gilbert
Joao Fernandes
Nathan Wood
Daryl Shaw
Sam Lefevre
Lindy Macfarlane
Clare Nicholson
Alex Vince
Magda Bujar
Sophie Cavanagh
Emily Waller
Steve Lee
Join us on our next session


Distribute donations @ Best Western Hotel (Peckham)
🗓Tomorrow 10:45am

Assist GROAD with distributing donations to refugee families at this Peckham hotel

Carissa WaltersYvonne
4 GoodGymers are going

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