Trees for Cities and the Tree-Athlon

Despite the slightly hippy-ish name, Trees for Cities is one of the organisations that help to keep London the remarkably green city that it is. The aim is right there in the title – the volunteers work on planting trees in cities, taking into account what local residents want in their areas.

And now it’s time for Trees for Cities to start preparing for its flagship event: the Tree-Athlon. Don’t panic – it’s not some terrifying sporting event.  It’s a three-part event taking place on Saturday September 17 in Battersea Park, all raising money and awareness about having a rural touch to our urbania.

Firstly there’s the 5km run. Or walk. Or skip. Or whatever you want: the idea is that this run, which for some is just a warm-up before a serious workout and for others is the most exercise they’ll do all year, is for everyone, whatever your pace. The route is through Battersea Park, so it’s pretty and green.

Then there’s the 100m barefoot race. This is going down after the 5km run, and the word ‘race’ is a little strong in this case, because it’s actually an attempt to break the world record for the largest ever race of this kind, so the more the merrier, and it’s bound to be a friendly, giggly kind of affair. I suppose if you wanted to mix it up you could cartwheel the 100m.

And finally there’s the tree-planting part – every participant gets a tree sapling of their own to take home. Overall the event hopes to raise enough money to plant 5000 new trees in urban areas of UK cities.

Being as it is quite a large event, there will be other stuff going on the in Tree-Athlon Village – art, music and dance will also be on the cards, and though you must be over 12 to run the 5km there are nevertheless activities organised for kids, so it can be a family event.

If you reckon you’d like to get involved, be aware that there’s a £22 registration fee for the 5km run, and you’re also expected to raise some money for the cause… which comes to a whopping – wait for it – £25.  If you complete the 5km run, you get a limited edition t-shirt by British designer Giles Deacon, water, fruit, medal, goody bag and your tree sapling.  And the knowledge that you’ve contributed to keeping London as green as possible.

To register and for more information about the event, visit the website.

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