THIS YEARS’S OLD MUTUAL TWO OCEANS MARATHON WAS ONE OF MY MOST IMPORTANT JOURNEYS YET.



It all started on a bleak morning over a year ago, when three senior doctors broke the news to me that my knee injury was so severe I would need a knee replacement. Even worse, they told me I would never run again.

I was a broken-hearted spectator as my friends trained for, and ran, the 2015 Two Oceans. However, there was one thing for which the doctors hadn’t accounted. They didn’t realise how stubborn we runners are.

Watching the runner's finish, I vowed I would run in 2016. I visited biokineticists, physiotherapists, and every specialist I could think of and find. I walked for 2 hours every day, right through Johannesburg’s winter, no matter how bitter it was and how much I limped.

I took my first faltering running steps in September. The rest, as they say, is history.

Full of doubt and trepidation, I lined up with 11,000 other Two Oceans runners on Easter Saturday morning. I received plenty of encouragement along the way, especially from two lovely West Coast Striders’ ladies.

This was my 31st Two Oceans, and as I reached each landmark it was like greeting an old friend again. To my surprise, I reached Fish Hoek in just over two hours, several minutes faster than I'd anticipated. When I summited Chapman's Peak, I punched the air.

I am not ashamed to say I finished in tears. I was over 3 hours slower than the time I ran in my first Two Oceans over 30 years ago, but no single run has ever been more important to me. We runners only fully appreciate how important running is to us when it is taken away.

Right now, my immediate goal is to keep on running. My long term goal is next year’s Two Oceans. (Don’t tell my family!)

Image of Bruce Fordyce on Chapmans Peak is used with the kind permission of Shawn Benjamin Photography incorporating Ark Images - www.arkimages.com


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FORDYCE DIARIES

THE 1986 COMRADES MARATHON

TACKLING A DOWN RUN

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