On Saturday, 18 January, 159 Parkrun enthusiasts gathered at the dirt road next to Piet Retief High School, to take part in this fitness event with the CEO of Parkrun South Africa himself, Bruce Fordyce.
His wife, Gill, accompanied him on this trip. Bruce Fordyce (born 3 December 1955 in Hong Kong) is a South African marathon and ultramarathon athlete. He is best known for having won the South African Comrades Marathon a record nine times, of which eight wins were consecutive.
In 1977, when Bruce first ran the Comrades Marathon, he placed 43rd out of 1,678 entries. He came 14th in 1978, third in 1979, second in 1980, and was the winner for an unprecedented eight consecutive years from 1981 to 1988; he won it again in 1990. No other runner in the history of the Comrades has achieved this feat.
Bruce also held the record time (05:27:00) for the “up” run (Durban to Pietermaritzburg) from 1988 until 1998, when the record was broken by Dmitri Grishin of Russia (05:26:25). His record of 5:24:07 for the “down” run (Pietermaritzburg to Durban) stood for 21 years from 1986 until it was broken in 2007 by Russia’s Leonid Shvetsov. In November 2011, Bruce started Parkrun in South Africa.
26 people came to the first run at Johannesburg’s Delta Park, now approximately 1.2 million South Africans are registered Parkrunners. Astounding! Before the race started on Saturday, Bruce spoke to his fellow participants. He stated that without volunteers, Parkrun South Africa would not be successful and urged the residents of Mkhondo to offer up their time to assist at these events.
He also shared that Saturday’s Parkrun was his 399th time and that he had volunteered 80 times in the past. Mr Fordyce has a wonderful sense of humour and the people enjoyed listening to him and conversing with him after the Parkrun.
Thank you for visiting us Bruce and Gill! The top-five Parkrunners were: 1. Kunene Phakamani – 19:13 2. Nkosi Thulani – 19:32 3. Runner not registered 4. Runner not registered 5. Sabelo Sibeko – 22:04.
14 January 2020 –
Excitement graces the streets of Mkhondo as Parkrun contestants will soon be having the privilege of running alongside a Ford. . . or should I say a Fordyce.
This coming Saturday, nine time South African Comrades winner, Bruce Fordyce, will be joining us for a fun-filled day of physical pursuit. Peaking even more at the excitement of this event, is the fact that Bruce is also the ambassador for Parkrun SA. How exciting!
11 January 2020 Times:
- 1st Place: Moloto Mamba (23:02)
- 2nd Place: Shayne Blignaut (24:45)
- 3rd Place: Joshua Carr (25:24)
- 4th Place: Nqobile Cele (26:02)
- 5TH Place: Johan Du Toit (27:53)
Astonishingly the best time recorded during this week’s Parkrun was from a first time runner. Both 4th and 5th place runners improved their times alongside 10 other contestants also sporting confidence.
A very well done to all participants and many thanks to all the people that were willing to give up their valuable time to make this event a reality.
Come and share in the fun with a South African legend this Saturday at 07:00.