11 Sunday, 2021
Cape Town
Sunday, Apr 11
22 °C

Fordyce and Bester says runners should be allowed to train outside on their own


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.


  1. I agreeing from what Fordyce and Nick are saying. We are stuck indoors and mentally we are loosing our minds. Its a good thing that at least we go for a run for an hour a day on our own.

  2. I strongly agree with the two guru’s of Comrades. I don’t have a yard nor a garden. My flat balcony is similar to the size of Social distancing. I’ve been a road runner since 1999.
    The current lockdown situation is causing more stress that will soon lead to depression. I was never forced to stop running like now before. Again, what is happening here in South Africa is not lockdown, everyone is everywhere whenever and not monitored. The only thing that is lockdown is sports church alcohol and cigarettes.
    Why are we not allocated at least 2 hours daily for monitored solo runs. 8 to 10. I personally accepted long time ago that Comrades 2020 is a DEAD DREAM because we can not continue with international athletes as if everything is OK neither we cannot continue without them. How can we run Comrades this year when it takes 12 to 18 months for the experts to come up with a cure or vaccine for any kind of illness or viruses. How can we run Comrades on guard, looking left and right for not to be in contact, touching, rubbing against each others. Yes, all sports now are a life risk until there’s a vaccine, however doing solo run is a necessity for health purposes since we are now under a lot of stress. Some of us don’t own plots. I’m so sad!! I cry daily, I AM A ROAD RUNNER!! not this stupid home lounge balcony exercise.

  3. Sal fantasties wees as ons kan oefen…. Voel of ek al van my kop af wil gaan

  4. I also agree on that one cause running is good for our heath …

  5. I do agree with Bruce Fordyce and Nick Bester, l’m a ultra runner and I’m staying at the flat, the flat yard is too small so I can’t run.
    Why not government don’t allow us to run from 5:30am till 7am and 17pm till 18:30pm.
    Please can anyone from ASA write a letter to Minister of sports. To run alone is better than a person who is at super market. We need only one hour. They said some of the signs of covid-19 is breathing, so when you run, you can realize very quickly that you have breathing problem. I thank you.
    Edgar Segopolo from Bloemfontein, Free State.

  6. How are we going to make the government change their policy on running in lockdown, because i and my fellow runners are 110% with you in this?

  7. Please let us run outside! It makes no sense to lock people up while others are living in areas where no social distance is possible.

  8. Don’t agree. What about your safety. You on your own very dangerous. People must think, there is a lot of criminals outside and Bruce should know think, he was a victim a few years ago. Nothing can be more important than your own safety.

    1. Myself & another lady have been running for 2 years now at 3h30am. We don’t ever see anyone even walking at that time.. before that I ran on my own…. when I got hijacked it was 16h30, so……

    2. Nothing is more dangerous for a very active person than to be stuck indoors doing no exercise. Mental and physical health will suffer.

  9. I strongly agree with Bruce and Nick after all they are gurus in sports and health. Its true referreing to Nick during the lockdown we had one champ who commited suicide and may his soul RIP it really affecting us as athletes and wholesticyly in spotrs fran.. going out for a jog in a small groyp of 3 bearing in mind safe distance is way much better than what we see in our malls were the is congestion keeping fit its a way to go. Not long ago our president was promoting a walk that people should exercise what happened to that? Is he no longer intetested?

  10. The other problems of inactivity especially in older people is the risk of DVT. (Deep vein thrombosis).

  11. I agree ! In other countries you are allowed to run alone once a day and walk your pet once a day. There is a good reason for this and it’s called looking after people’s mental health . Let’s hope they change the rules. Clearly there are no runners in government .

  12. I totally agree with Bruce and Nick. I do not have the luxury of a big house and garden. I need exercise like running cycling and canoeing but am totally locked up. It is far safer to go for a run alone at 5:30 am alone for an hour than to stand in a line in a shopping center where social distancing is practiced. Ramaphosa and his mates did not think of peoples well being both mentally and physically. I am going mad being locked up☹️☹️☹️☹️

  13. I am all for it, a run between 04:30 to 06:00
    Is a good time for a run, no traffic ,less people.Run alone.

  14. Sorry meant where social distancing is NOT practiced.

    1. I agree. I live in an Estate Im use to running at 03h00 in the mornings & no one runs that time of the day!

  15. I totally agree!! I am doing it here in the UK and agreeing to government guidelines of one daily form of exercise a day up to an hour, running,cycling or walking! Nothing wrong with it. Go early and you will have no problems keeping 2 metre distance. Especially in the Countryside if possible. Everyone needs physical and mental exercise. Otherwise a nation will go mad! Well said Bruce and Nick.

  16. The South African government needs to rethink this lockdown strategy! Definitely!

  17. I say Nick and Bruce should be ministers in the South African government!!2

  18. I say Nick Beater and Bruce Fordyce should be ministers in the South African government!!

  19. I’m also support the idea . I’m also ultra marathon runner this is killing us as an athlete remember same of athletes reffed by doctors for different reasons I know corona is the main reason to not running but allowing us these morning hours and after noon but as individuals

  20. I agree that shopping for groceries standing in queues is far more dangerous than running solo at 6am even if just for 1/2 hour every day. I am concerned about mybgealth and am diabetic and recently my sugar readings are slowly rising

  21. Yes please! Solo running will save my sanity. Go Bruce! Call on all your contacts. This is too important to just be an idea.

  22. I really support and agree with Nick and Oom Bruce, im already in a big stress up to now for not going to jog or run alone😣😢😢🙄

  23. Thanks Bruce and Nick for this. I’m normally not a depressive person, but this shit keeping me from going out for a run, is testing all my senses big time. Hopefully we will be rescued soon.

  24. These two legends are 100% right and I second the opinion ab out running at your own because now we are stuck inside our small house. Our bodies are used to jogging and now we are tired.

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