Former Comrades Marathon winners Bruce Fordyce and Nick Bester both believe South Africans should be allowed to run outside on their own for at least an hour during lockdown.
Fordyce, a nine Comrades champion, ran the iconic race 30 times in his illustrious career.
The 64-year-old is currently the president of Parkrun in South Africa.
The Parkrun is a series of 5km races that are run around the world on Saturday mornings at eight.
Fordyce believes the government’s lockdown rules have done a good job to curb the spread of the corona virus in South Africa.
However, he is not convinced that they have properly thought out the situation around the value of exercising outside.
“It was a horrendous decision not to allow people to go out for a run or to walk their dog,” says Fordyce.
“People need to exercise to not only be physically healthy, but they also need to take care of their mental health.”
Fordyce has no doubt that everyone will be more than willing to make sure they don’t run in big groups.
“I for one won’t take a chance by going out for a run with my training buddies. Who am I going to see if I go out for a run at 05:30 for an hour in the morning? Nobody!”
Fordyce believes many people are under the wrong impression that the lockdown will suddenly end on April 30.
“I don’t think this has been thought through properly. Not being able to jog outside doesn’t help the situation.
“I am lucky to have a nice house with a big garden, but if you are living in a tiny flat or a tin shack, it is a very difficult situation.”
Bester, who won Comrades in 1991 and boasts nine gold medals, is also concerned about the legislation prohibiting athletes from training outside during lockdown.
“It’s a big problem. The people are sitting at home and they can’t exercise,” says Bester.
“You’re going to get more people dying from diabetes, heart attacks and suicide if you keep them locked up. I can’t understand that we don’t allow people to exercise on their own.
“Countries such as the Netherlands, England, Australia and New Zealand amongst others, allow people to exercise on their own for at least an hour. I can’t understand why we can’t also do that.
“I believe it’s way riskier to go to the shops when you go out to buy food or to stand in a queue at a supermarket. I can’t see any harm if you go out for a jog on your own,” adds Bester.