Business Networking Breakfast: 25 February 2016; Speaker: Bruce Fordyce; Topic: Applying the principals of success in marathon running to everyday life

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South African marathon and ultra-marathon legend Bruce Fordyce’s record of nine South African Comrades Marathon victories, of which eight wins were consecutive, will undoubtedly be etched in South Africans’ memories for years to come.

He was born in Hong Kong in 1955.  Fordyce’s family moved to Johannesburg when he was 13 years old. He completed his school career at Woodmead High School and attended the University of the Witwatersrand, where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1977 and his Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979. He was given an honorary doctorate from the University in 1997.

In 1977, when Fordyce first ran the Comrades marathon, he placed 43rd out of 1,678 entries. He gradually “rose through the ranks” and went on to win the Comrades for an unprecedented eight consecutive years between 1981 and 1988, and won it again in 1990. No other runner in the history of the Comrades had ever achieved this feat before or since Fordyce. He also held the record time for the “up” (Durban to Pietermaritzburg) run and his record for the “down” (Pietermaritzburg to Durban) run of 5:24:07 (set in 1986), had stood for 21 years before finally being broken in 2007 by Russia’s Leonid Shvetsov.

Bruce’s first victory was particularly brave and notable. An outspoken critic of Apartheid, Fordyce and a number of other athletes decided to boycott the 1981 event when organisers announced that they would associate it with the 20th anniversary of the Republic of South Africa. Ultimately though, Fordyce ran, wearing a black armband to signal his protest. He destroyed the opposition, crossing the line in a sensational 5:37:28, nearly 10 minutes clear of second-placed Johnny Halberstadt. His protest attracted boos and even some rotten tomatoes from a largely white crowd.

With Fordyce to the fore, the Comrades captured the imagination of the South African public. Race entries skyrocketed, and lining the road and cheering the runners on became a tradition on the public holiday when the race was held. The Comrades field, which had been just under 4 000 strong in 1980, grew to over 10,000 by the end of the decade, with Fordyce entrenched in the public’s imagination.

Apart from all his Comrades records, Fordyce is the world record holder over 50 miles – which he set during the 1983 London to Brighton ultramarathon – and he also holds the 50 mile record for the United States All Comers Race.

In addition to having written two books about the Comrades Marathon, Fordyce, who was voted 64th in the “Top 100 Great South Africans”, is also a sports columnist for various newspapers and magazines. He is also the Chief Executive Officer of the South African Sports Trust, an independent body established in 1995 to fund sports development in the country.

Fordyce still partakes in the Comrades and other endurance events like the Duzi Marathon for charity.

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Business Networking Breakfast Friday 5 December TOPIC: ” If it is to be, it is up to me” SPEAKER: Barry Blomkamp

Barry Blomkamp is one of SA's top speakers and entertainers. From being a successful business man, an entrepreneur, a sportsman, a Motor Racer, and a family man all in his sighted life… To a dramatic accident in his Lotus Sports Car which very nearly killed him!

Barry qualified with distinctions as a Grade A Auto Technician in 1978 and soon realised his deep ambition of owning his own Service Station and racing a Lotus sports car. In December 1988 Barry was severely injured in a horrendous motor crash. He says he was fortunate to only lose his eye-sight. After recovering from the crash he studied Information Technology and qualified as a Computer Consultant and specialised in computers adapted for the needs of differently- abled people.

In the 90s, Barry co-founded and was Chairman of ‘Computing for Disabled Persons Special Interest Group’ which, under his Chairmanship, was honoured with the Computer Society’s “Special Interest Group of the Year” award. He has also organised and run a number of very successful conferences dealing with disability issues. Parallel to all this, Barry ran his own Public Relations and Fund Raising consultancy, quadrupling the number of guide dogs in Cape Town and Raised almost a million Rand.

Barry served on the committee of the Lighthouse Association for the Blind for 14 years, serving a term as Vice-Chairman. In 1994 he was awarded the ‘Yvonne Archer Memorial Shield’ for conquering blindness. Barry also managed this organisation for 18 months, creating and developing new business systems and up grading the levels of public awareness. Apart from his successful Turbo Talk Training public speaking business, Barry also contracts himself out as a Sales Consultant – Specialising in the sale of high-end phone systems.

Barry has been interviewed by over 10 radio stations and just some of his Clients include Afrox; Auto & General; British American Tobacco; Charter Life; City of Cape Town; Deloitte & Touche; Eskom; Indwe Risk; Institute of Credit Managers; Iscor; Maersk Shipping; Momentum Health; Murray and Roberts; Mutual & Federal; Old Mutual; Pam Golding Property; Retail Motor Industry; Safmarine; Sea Harvest; Sovereign Health; Tiger Wheel & Tyre and Vodacom.

To this day he is still very involved in the W.P. Motor Club where Barry is Deputy Chief commentator. For his perseverance and determination, he was honoured with a merit award, as well as the prestigious “Clubman of the Year” trophy and in 2004 Barry’s contribution to the W.P. Motor Club was recognised by conferring him with Honours.

This is a 6 legged, 2 eyed package which will be spoken about, long after the breakfast. Don’t miss this remarkable man and his guide dog.

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Dear Friends

Don’t miss an opportunity in this amazing raffle, which will run until end February, at R 100 per ticket and is:

An 'Uber SA Luxury Getaway' package which INCLUDES ;

2 Night stay for 2 persons B/B in a 1-Bed Suite at Taj Cape Town, includes airport/train  limo pickup if required, plus personal Guided City Walking Tour.

World renowned Blue Train experience from either Cape Town to Pretoria or reverse (all inclusive 36 hr Luxury Trip x 2 persons sharing)

1 Night stay for 2 persons B/B at the Luxury Saxon Hotel in Sandton combined with a

1 Night stay (all inclusive for 2 persons) at Zulu Camp (sister property to Saxon at Shambala Game Reserve in the Waterberg)

Combined value trip of over R70,000.

Contact for more information or call 021 447 1690