Ready, Steady…Go Local!

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Feb. 13, 2017, 12:23 p.m.

The Nightingale’s Night Hike and Mayor’s Charity Fun Run make a welcome return this year raising funds for Enfield charities.Comedian Athena Kugbleno looks at the positives of keeping your charitable running and walking local this year.

I started running in 2005 but I can’t remember why. It wasn’t to lose weight (thank goodness, because I didn’t lose any). I just felt like it. The purposeless spontaneity is probably why I didn’t keep it up.

Had I started more thoughtfully, I would have approached it differently.I was doing it wrong; I was in a vest and shorts.It was when I was overtaken by a pantomime horse at one event that I realised the many benefits of running have very little to do with actual running.

If there is one thing being British has taught me, it’s that there is nothing as liberating as a legitimate excuse to partake in fancy dress. Spectators are always going to get behind someone who is giving it their all in a costume they are unlikely to be able to return. If wearing a cape and a utility belt doesn’t get your legs moving, nothing will.

It is usual practice to run in costume for charity (and not for sheer delight), so dress up and the fun isn’t just for you. Fundraising is vital for so many charities, especially local ones that make a difference to people who live where we live.

Which is why running is great for our communities. I have taken part in massive central London events where I was nothing more than an anonymous number. I turned up, ran the distance, then went home with sweaty strangers on a train. At those events you’re part of a community for the distance you’re running. Find a local event helping a local charity and you’ll be part of community for life.

The community of Enfield is pretty vibrant. I bet if was to run the same streets and parks, soon enough I would bump into the same people using the same route. Soon enough I would find the rear end to my pantomime horse and get my own back on my nemesis.

You can make some fantastic local discoveries too. The streets we navigate follow well-trodden routes between our front door and the station, bus stop, or local boozer. But what if there was beauty, history and nice spots worth a visit within running or walking distance? What better way to discover them, than by wandering around? You could stumble upon a new park, a new view, even a new place to enjoy a drink or two - you’re going to want to reward yourself at some point.

Local events are easy to join, easy to travel to and even easier to enjoy. With something for all levels of runners and walkers they are packed with community spirit and positive energy. They are great ways to meet like-minded people, whilst helping fantastic charities doing great things right on your doorstep. You might even bump into Enfield’s very own Batman. And he’s a useful person to know.

Night Hike

Friday 12th May

Pre-walk refreshments 7pm, warm-up 7:45pm, walk starts 8pm

Hike starts and finishes at Enfield Civic Centre, Silver Street, EN13XA

Raise money for the Nightingale Cancer Support Centre by taking part in a 15km boroughwide walk. If a 15km night walk isn’t daring enough for you, do it whilst wearing a mask. This year’s theme is Superheroes. Will you be a superhero this year?

Costs £15pp and must be aged 12yrs+

Visit www.nightingalesupport.org.uk to register your interest.

Mayor’s Charity Fun Run

Sunday 17th September

3km run @ 10:15am, 3km walk @ 10:25am, 10km run @ 11:15am

Forty Hall Estate, Forty Hill, Enfield, EN2 9HA

Raise money for the Mayor’s chosen charities at an event all the family can enjoy. You can run or walk 3km and 10km routes around the picturesque Forty Hall estate.

Visit www.activeenfield.co.uk to register your interest.

Athena tweets at @athenakugblenu

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