Run dedicated to Harfield Village

Robert Burgoyne on the road again.

To celebrate reaching his personal fitness goal of running for 365 consecutive days, a Harfield Village resident, decided to pay tribute to his neighbourhood.

Robert Burgoyne, 38, completed his mission on Easter Sunday, April 4.

For his victory run he made sure to run every road of the area and even created a map of Harfield Village to make sure he didn’t miss a spot.

“I decided that for day 365 I would get to know my neighbourhood a little better. I’ve been up and down the streets of Harfield Village on foot a lot over the past year. I have well worn paths that I feel I’ve worn a groove into. However, there are streets, avenues, lanes and cul-de-sacs that I’ve not visited. I wanted to see my neighbourhood with fresh eyes, not just as a road to traverse, but to see our homes, our people, our pockets of people, our parks: to look Harfield Village in the eyes.“

He was assisted by his son Matthew, 12, his daughter Emma, 5, and his wife Kim. “Once we finished my family and I did a victory lap by taking a walk to the nearby parks in Harfield Village,” he said.

Mr Burgoyne, who is a software developer, had to start working from home during the coronavirus(Covid-19) pandemic.

He felt like he went through a rut and that he was neglecting himself and picking up weight.

“My family and I were concerned about my physical and mental health and I even visited the doctor who recommended that I make a lifestyle change and with Covid-19 it made a lot of us think about our health,” he said.

Mr Burgoyne, who has been running for 10 years, started his running plan last year on Saturday April 4. “I wanted to break the monotony every day, I wanted to move, I wanted to sweat and improve my physical and mental health,” he said.

During the hard lockdown he first started running back and forth for 30 metres within his property, then when restrictions were lifted he ran short 1km distances around Kenilworth and Harfield Village. He increased his distances to run around Rondebosch, Newlands, Constantia and Lakeside.

Then as the months progressed, Mr Burgoyne managed to do longer distances, between 30km and 50km in areas such as Worcester, Stellenbosch and Groot Constantia.

“The trick that really helped me was having a conservative start at a low intensity which meant I could keep up my consistent daily running streak,” he said.

He also recovered after his runs by stretching, doing foam roll exercises, going for sport massages as well as taking hot baths in Epsom salts.

His body also went through a transformation where he lost 22kg, going from 97kg to 75kg.

Mr Burgoyne is part of the Wild Runner Athletics Club, though in his running venture, he ran 90% of the time on his own. “Because of Covid-19, I avoided running in large groups, though running on my own became important for me, it also gave me a good time to reflect,” he said.

Mr Burgoyne even managed to run on Christmas Day when he and fellow Harfield Village resident, Allan Ryninks dressed up as Santa Claus and ran through the neighbourhood.

Mr Burgoyne said while running he had time to think about the area.

Map of Harfield Village which was marked by Mr Burgoyne.

“What I realised during this run, is that my neighbourhood is a mix of humans. We have trees which are greens and reds and gold. We have people of different colours. We have flowers and four parks, and slides and swings. We have all been through a lot over the past year. We have businesses and restaurants that are our pride, but they are still fighting. We have two train stations. Most of our homes probably need a lick of paint. Understandable since we’ve been inside them for a year. A lot of people returned a smile. Roseville is part of Harfield Village. Lyndhurst is probably the steepest hill in Harfield! We have different faiths in the village. I overheard conversations of human struggle and mistakes made. I heard laughter.“

Mr Burgoyne also took numerous pictures of the area during his run.

He is still continuing with his consecutive daily runs, though he says he is not sure whether he will be running another 365 days in a row.