EVENT REVIEW: Fitness Playground and The Hunger Games

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In celebration of the release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Lionsgate teamed up with Fitness Playground to create a real life Hunger Games. I went along as a tribute to check it out!

So here’s a bit of background to The Fitness Playground. It’s a fitness group who use Central London as their gym, running here there and everywhere. Stretches, mini workouts, games, obstacle courses and loads of other cool things. Specialist instructors lead different sessions and each can be made to suit you. Plus, you get to visit lots of great places you may have not seen or known about before!

The Fitness Playground version of The Hunger Games is in a similar format to the original games, but without the killings. First up were three training sessions over three weeks to experience the Fitness Playground’s unique way of training, then the Games itself over a Saturday afternoon. Following on from this is the five-week work out, ‘Train Like a Tribute’, preparing your body for the Christmas binge.

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There were three training sessions before the games which I could’ve attended, but something tried to stop me from going each time and messed up my plans, so I only made it to the last one. It was tough, but fun. Pete Meldrum ran the evening classes at Fitness Playground and the Hunger Games day. A group of about 8 of us ran from King’s College London to up the Southbank Centre, where we met Dylan Cox. He’s a boxing coach and taught us the basics of boxing. It was dark out, so all the lights of London were on. You could see the London Eye, hear Big Ben and everything had a red tinge from the light around us. It was pretty cool! The session lasted an hour but was still intense and I was glad to get home and fall straight to sleep!

The Games

The games were held at the Corinthia Hotel (I like how it sounds like Cornucopia), where we were given our briefing for the day in our teams. I was paired with my friend, Alice and we represented District 7. A short video presentation from the Head Gamesmaker, Nixoto (so wonderfully serious it was amazing) and we were off in our pairs for the first part of the challenge.

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Start of the video from Nixoto

From the hotel, we headed over the river to the London Eye where we picked up a bag with a map and two ‘lives’. Our lives were red tags we tied to our belts- if someone from another team caught one of your tags you lost a life. The map had a number of landmarks in different zones. You had to get pictures of as many landmarks as possible, with one of the pair in each photo. Each zone represented a certain number of points, which increased the further away from Southbank you went. Communications were made with the Gamesmaker via whatsapp, which was a pretty cool way of keeping everything in order. I had a leg injury, so I couldn’t go all the way out, so Alice and I got all the zone one places and a couple from zone 2. We only had 45 minutes to do it in which made it more challenging! Once we headed back to the hotel, organisers totalled up the points and we could see who was where in the rankings so far. The vast majority of people we were up against were MUCH fitter than us- a couple of people I’d spoken to previously we long distance runners. It became evident from the scores that pairs had spilt up to cover more ground. Alice and I did not think of this. But it was still really fun, so we didn’t mind as much!

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Alice with the London Eye


It rained. But that didn't stop the fun!

It rained. But that didn’t stop the fun!

After a quick drink and snack, it was back to another video from Nixoto. After a cryptic message from him, we had to head back over to the London Eye where we’d found a Hunger Games trainer. He made us run around the green patch at the London Eye 5 times before giving us a phrase we had to report back to Nixoto with. Nixoto got back to us promptly with a new list of challenges for us to complete in an hour. These were things like get a photo with a policeman or a stranger, bring back a tube map, or tweet about how much you love The Hunger Games team up with Fitness Playground. We got most of them done, and then headed back to the hotel. My leg was hurting pretty badly at this point, but I was still having a great time! On the way back over the bridge, fireworks were being set off along the river. I’ve never seen them in Central London before in person and they were amazing! A great way to end the challenge.

Messages from Nixoto

Messages from Nixoto

Fireworks from the bridge

Fireworks from the bridge

Back at the hotel, we were treated to a meal full of chicken and lots of healthy stuff, which was delicious. Made a nice change from 11p student noodles! We chatted amongst ourselves while the scores were added up. Sadly, Alice and I didn’t win the top prize of the tickets to the premier of Catching Fire. We didn’t win any of the other amazing top four prizes, but come last either!

My new Mocking Jay pin

My new Mockingjay pin

Everyone had an amazing time and Alice and I both really enjoyed it. We got a goodie bag each at the end of it with things like the new mockingjay pin badge and some of the Hunger Games books. Alice hasn’t read them before, so I told her she has to read them! They are incredible and the films so far are doing the books justice.

Thanks to Lionsgate and the Fitness Playground for a great day out- here’s hoping that they have another fitness challenge for the next films!

Oh and go see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. It’s INCREDIBLE.

Source: The Hunger Games and Fitness Playground Fitness Challenge (Pictures from Fitness Playground and Jess Hawke)
Reporter: Jess Hawke

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