There was extra cause for celebration at GoodGym Portsmouth's first birthday run on Wednesday 8th May, as they look set to complete 1000 good deeds this month.
GoodGym, which combines getting fit with doing good, has seen the group run to help places like the Hilsea Lido, charity shops, community centres, schools and the food bank.
GoodGym Portsmouth meets every Wednesday, at 6.15pm at Fratton Community Centre for the group runs. Everyone over 18 is welcome and there is no cost. For some of the longer runs there is also a walking option which sets off earlier.
As well as the group runs, GoodGym does smaller or individual runs to help older people with tasks that they can’t manage at home or just to have a cup of tea and chat with an older person who's lonely. They also take part in community missions where they join in with wider events taking place in the city, for example beach cleans and supporting charity activities.
Katie Carew-Robinson, Run Leader for GoodGym Portsmouth, said; "It was great to have 20 runners for our first birthday celebration, including someone joining us for the first time and several runners who were with us at launch in May 2018. It was such a fun evening and lovely to return to help Manor Infant School, which was the venue of our first run.
To add to the excitement it was great to be able to announce how close we are to completing 1000 good deeds. I'm confident that we can do it during May. The more people that come and take part in a run the quicker we'll be able to hit it and start working towards reaching 2000 good deeds, which can only be a good thing for the city."
India Custance, 30, from Southsea, said; "I did my first run with GoodGym in April. I'd moved down from London and didn’t really know anyone here so thought GoodGym was a great way to meet people and get to know the city better. I also love the community element. I was only a really casual runner before but GoodGym is so much fun that I want to come each week, which will benefit my fitness levels too."
Craig John, 31, and in the navy, said; "GoodGym's birthday run was my first time and I've really enjoyed it. I was looking for something to do in the evenings whilst I'm based in Portsmouth and this seemed ideal as I enjoy keeping fit. It was nice to work as a team to help tidy the school's vegetable plot and playground. I'll definitely be back."
Maura Cole, 50, said; "I've been coming to GoodGym since it launched in May 2018 and I love it. I can’t believe it's been a year already. I think running is a good way to keep fit but I was bored of doing it by myself. It's nice to combine running with doing things for the city, and some of our tasks provide a workout as well when we're digging, lifting or sweeping!"
GoodGym Portsmouth is supported by Portsmouth City Council. For more information visit: www.goodgym.org/areas/portsmouth