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Discovering hidden corners of York at a Move the Masses peg-it session

Discovering hidden corners of York at a Move the Masses peg-it session

Last week’s peg-it session opened up a whole new world for the participants. Every person who came saw a little piece of their city they had never seen before. They also used pretty much every muscle group in their bodies, and learnt new exercise techniques too.

Bec, one of Move the Masses’s Trustees, came along to try it out.

The session started at Acomb Green where we warmed up, stretching and running up and down steps a fair few times. Then it was a 1k run or so to Viking Road Play Area.

The idea of a peg-it session is that you run around an area and then do mini-workouts in the local open spaces using the play equipment, street furniture - and whatever else is there - as your ‘outdoor gym’.

At Viking Road it was time for some circuits. Using the bike racks as our bars, each of us did 10 press ups, 10 squats and 10 pull ups followed by a run around the parameter of the field. Then onto the next 10… You could go as fast and as hard as you like, making the circuits doable for all. After 10 minutes, we were done, so we went to use the goal posts to climb on and practise being monkeys…

A small rest and we were back on the road, this time heading to a grassy tree lined walk-through at Beckfield Lane. Each of us did two different sets of shuttle runs here, using the lines on the path as our markers, whilst the others did either toe taps on a bollard, sitting squat on a wall, jumping up to a deep squat or side to side stretches.

At times it felt like parkour.

We then did the longest slice of run through Chapelfields and Grange Lane playing field ending up at the little known, but quite wonderful, Batchelor Hill.

This is a large green space in Acomb that is actually a hill with views of York Minster, Holgate Windmill, Terrys and more. As a very flat city, It is hard to believe that such views exist and it was good to arrive there and take it all in.

But that wasn’t why we were there.

Move the Masses’ founder Egg, who was leading the session instructed us to run gently down the hill and then sprint back up taking in three different routes as fast as we could. A different kind of workout again.

Our final challenge, before heading back to Acomb Green, was to run freely down the hill. We were taught techniques fell runners use including letting our arms be really loose, which saw us all running faster downhill by the end of the session. It was quite a thrill.

Egg leads sessions with such enthusiasm and genuine joy, that as well as being challenging and hard, it really is fun. And to the find secret hidden spaces of your city that you didn’t know about, really is wonderful. What a great way to enjoy York.

I ached the next day, but my over riding feeling was ‘Can we do that again?’

The actual running distance for that peg-it session was 5k, but with the additional running at each workout, we probably did more like 8k.

Peg-it sessions cost £5 for an hour, £6 for 1.5 hours. It is run on a pay-it-forward basis. For every two sign-ups, a free space is made available for someone who cannot otherwise afford to participate. Move the Masses look for referrals through various wellbeing and care organisations in York and should someone not take the space, the space is banked for a future session.

Move the Masses vision is to give everyone the ability to improve their wellbeing through movement without any barriers. No matter what your age, ability or financial status, Move the Masses provides opportunities for you to get out, move and feel good.

That is what we are all about.

To book onto any Move the Masses session, check out