South Africa: #Comrades2Parkrun - Rebuilding Communities One Parkrun At a Time


A chance meeting in London led an ultramarathon legend to a course in which he established 'a legacy I will leave behind for humanity'.

The English Romantic poet John Keats called autumn the "season of mist and mellow fruitfulness". It's the time for conkers, the stubborn seeds that fall from horse-chestnut trees, are peeled by children, skewered and then hung on strings and used in conker fights.

In England, autumn comes in October, and on a Saturday morning in October 2004 South African émigré Paul Sinton-Hewitt gathered with 12 friends in Bushy Park on the edges of London. Sinton-Hewitt was in the midst of a personal crisis. He was a runner nostalgic for the camaraderie he recalled from his days of running short time-trials in South Africa. That day they ran 5km around the park before breakfast, then went their own ways.

Fast forward to March 2011. Instead of conkers falling from trees, crocuses are pushing their heads through frost-bitten soils. It's spring.

Bruce Fordyce, a son of another soil, was in England to run the London Marathon. Aged 46, he was past the prime that in the 1980s had seen him set world records and win the Comrades Marathon...

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