30 before 30 - progress · Volunteering

23. Volunteer 12 times

4. The Poppy Run, Finsbury Park

Date: 6th November 2016

Oh god, I am falling behind on this item on my list. Need to step it up!!

Anyway. The Poppy Run was the 4th time I’ve volunteered since I wrote my list, and what a very worthy cause it was. The Poppy Run is organised by the brilliant Royal British Legion with help from British Military Fitness and this was the first year it’s been held in my local park, Finsbury Park. It’s a 5km race, comprising of two laps of the park – essentially the same as the Parkrun route but with one small deviation at the end of the course.

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It was a FREEZING cold day and I wrapped up warm – or so I thought – but I got chilled right down to my core. Luckily the park’s cafe does amazing hot chocolate! My role was as a route marshal near the end of the course, and I was asked to scream encouragement as loudly as I could. I almost lost my voice doing this so I think I achieved my objective!!

This was a really inclusive run and there were lots of families taking part together, talking about friends and family who were/had been part of the military, and helping each other up the horribly steep hill in the middle of the course. My one criticism was that there was no bag drop facility (?!) which meant that people had to run with their rucksacks, coats, even bags for life – not ideal and something that I am sure will be sorted by next year’s race.

Nevertheless, great event, great atmosphere, great to be able to contribute. 4/12 – done!

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3.Β Finsbury Parkrun – again!

Date: 18th July 2016

I really enjoyed volunteering at Parkrun last time, so thought I’d do so again. This time I was the tail runner, which involved running at the back of the pack to make sure that no-one got left behind. There were exactly 200 runners, including myself, and the run report isΒ here!

Here’s a photo of me and Ang, who was running for the first time and who I had the nicest run/chat with on the way round. She even managed a sprint finish at the end!

2.Β Finsbury Parkrun

Date: 18th June 2016

Parkrun is so fantastic and I’m trying to go along to the my local one, Finsbury Park, as frequently as I am able to: it’s a great way to start the weekend. Parkrun is entirely run by volunteers and I’d never volunteered, so I put my name down to marshal. I was stationed at the top of the evil hill on the run, and found it quite reassuring to see that everyone else seems to be as exhausted as I feel when I run up that section! Here’s a couple of photos of runners, and of my very fetching hi-vis vest!

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  1. Tower Hamlets Cemetery

Date: 1st May 2016

With: beautiful Alex!

On the first Sunday of every month, Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park welcomes volunteers to do conservation work to its stunning grounds. It’s one of London’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ cemeteries, and was closed to burials in 1966. I went along with Alex, who lives down the road, and who loves being outdoors as much as I do! We had the best time cutting down sycamores, enjoying the sunshine, catching up, and we felt so privileged to be able to do something to contribute to such a beautiful place. Alex got slightly carried away cutting down ever bigger sycamores, which really cracked me up! We were exhausted after a few hours of manual labour, so headed back to Alex’s place for prosecco and an amazing roast cooked by her and lovely James. You two are the best!!

 

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