From desperately needing water to fill up our dams a few short months ago, to having roads turned into rivers as a result of the massive storm that rumbled over Durban recently. Feast or famine and little in between!
While the people in the Western Cape remain on severe water restrictions, we are in the fortunate situation here in KwaZulu-Natal of having most of our dams currently at sufficient capacity.
As runners, especially those of us training for marathons or ultras or crazy trail thingamajjigies, water plays a rather important role on our training runs. Back in 1983, severe water restrictions were in place in the KwaZulu-Natal region, so much so that the Comrades 1983 run was to be supplied with de-salinated water. As the Comrades website puts it, “six desalination plants were set up on the beachfront in Durban, and a dairy agreed to fill 30,000 bottles with the purified water. From Cape Town, in the winter rainfall area, 1,500 kilometres away, 72,000 litres of fresh water was offered as a gesture of goodwill by the municipality.”
Which brings me to the crux of this newsletter, there are two water stops that us, as a faithful Regents community, can never, ever run or walk past without stopping at. It is runners’ etiquette of the worst kind if we do happen to run past without any acknowledgement whatsoever. It’s a bit like paying your respects at Arthur’s seat when plodding away at the Comrades Marathon. For those of you that know me, I love these traditions, even touching the wall at the end of Ushaka on our Saturday runs.
The first watering hole is a tap in honour of our Regents founder, Ron Clokie. You will find this tap along Umhlanga Rocks Drive outside the former “glass house”, the building that is currently undergoing renovations and housed DSTV. As the plaque at the base of the tap states, “In memory of our running pal, founder of the Regent Harriers, Ron Clokie, 1993”.
The second watering hole is complete and has been built as a memorial to the Regents community. We have regular Regenter and brilliant Regents supporter Paul Jason and his KWIKSPAR Glenore & Tops@Glenore to thank for this, in close collaboration with fellow legendary Regenter, Nigel Williamson and his plumbing crew. Situated just outside the entrance to the KWIKSPAR Glenore & Tops@Glenore, both Paul and Nigel have done this in honour of Regents, at their own expense.
In fact, I remember driving past the Ron Clokie tap last year sometime and noticing water gushing out from the base. When I phoned Nigel up, he replied, “No problem Olly, I will send one of my guys immediately.” As for my request for the invoice, Nigel’s response was along the lines of, “I’ve got so much out of Regents that repairing a small leak is the least I can do.” On behalf of the Regents community, we are hugely grateful to Paul and Nigel for their constant support behind the scenes. We will be having an official opening of sorts of this second tap, it all depends on when the bronzed busts of Bernie and his harem arrives… Watch this space or listen to the announcements before the calling of the routes!