Nevertheless, this afternoon I did what I’ve been doing for almost every Wednesday afternoon since the first day of summer last year. Ironically, it is now the beginning of winter, which means I’ve randomly been doing a random act of kindness for our beaches for over 6-months.
Randomly running responsibly.
Though, this tangent needs to take a step back, actually, a leap, jump, hop, skip and run, before I move on to tell you about what randomly happened this afternoon.
To be honest, I am a busy body. I’ve always have been and most likely will always be a busy body. That is how I have ended up where I am today, which I’m not going to complain about.
So, the story goes: I came across Responsible Runners on Facebook almost 18months ago. A cool group of Bondi hipsters (well, I originally thought that), picking up beach litter while running along Bondi Beach every Sunday – for 30minutes. Within no time, Sydneysiders caught on to the fast paced clean beach action and the innovative initiative ignited along Sydney’s beaches. For someone that is busy, loves coastal community action and running, I thought, wow, I want to do that!
At the time I was contemplating moving to Sydney, so I was super excited to think – I could be a Responsible Runner too! Though, the love I was chasing and the job I thought was for me didn’t come my way, so I was left liking Responsible Runners’ Facebook page almost every day and picturing myself getting fit and saving beaches with them. Yes, I am a weird busy body with a wild imagination.
And at the time I knew that I couldn’t start another coastal community group on the Gold Coast, where I live and love, because between what was already on my plate and having a crazy dog meant I really didn’t have spare time to organise more weekly beach clean ups.
Though, despite the broken heart and a lack of time, luck did come my way.
At the same time I just happened to meet Ryan Adams from Keep It Surreal on the Gold Coast – who also had a crush on Responsible Runners and their sister project, Responsible Cafes. Then boom, if it doesn’t take one busy person to get something done, why not ask two busy people?!
Pretty much straight away we sussed out our life schedules to dream up a time and place for when we could launch Responsible Runners on the Gold Coast. We really, really, really wanted to do it! As we both live up the northern end of the coast, work similar hours, busy on weekends and I need to let my dog run every afternoon … we decided we could randomly run responsibly every Wednesday after work at The Spit (the dog beach). So, by coupling my organisational skills for setting up groups, spreadsheets, insurance, equipment kits, finding free resources and funding, and Ryan’s creative flare with social media and the news, we were running in no time!
You see, initiatives like such usually take a minimum of 6 months to transform an idea into action. Responsible Runners Gold Coast took a month – from what I remember.
Today, 6-months on we have a growing group of cool coast guards protecting Gold Coast’s beaches and marine life by picking up beach litter and marine debris while running and walking three times a week at three beaches: Mermaid Beach, The Spit and Burleigh.
Above all, the best part about randomly running responsibly every Wednesday afternoon is that I’ve seen more sunsets than ever before, my crazy dog gets more beach time, I’ve met some really interesting people and more importantly, I’ve picked up more marine debris and beach litter!
And this afternoon was a classic collection of community clean beach action. I met two new people, one of the regular ambassadors gave me my favourite type of Carmans muesli bars, caught up with familiar faces – now friends – and saw an amazing sunset and a dolphin. Then as we were wrapping up the beach clean up, we asked a fisherman who probably had never used a smart phone before to take a photo of us, which left us laughing…
I have to acknowledge my random busy body nature, because all the above random series of random events probably wouldn’t have happened, and those before me that collaborate on ideas to form collaborative coastal community action.
So, I put it to you in the nicest, most random-nest way – why not randomly come along next week? You’ll be surprised with what happens.
Trust me! I’m a random Responsible Runner and super glad that I acted on my randomness.
For more information about Responsible Runners please visit responsiblerunners.org.