Raising the Fence Challenge

One day, long, long ago before covid-19 (BC) in December 2019, Jim “Coach” Scott and his lovely wife Dot, were enjoying a coffee at the local Mugg & Bean. Dot inadvertently spilt her coffee and a young woman sitting at an adjacent table with her two sons, jumped up to assist. She grabbed some serviettes and assisted with the clean-up. They got talking and Jim soon discovered that Tina, the young woman in question, was also a runner.

The Coach is always looking to gather more people into his morning running group, particularly, those of the female persuasion. The invite was duly given and much to his delight, gladly accepted.

The following week, a petite, initially quiet, runner joined our gang and we slowly got to know her as she became more and more chatty. It turned out that Tina lives in Mongolia for most of the year. Her husband, Robbie, works on a mine in Ulaanbaatar. Tina and her sons were here for a short break and time in the sun.

They were due go back to Mongolia in March, but we all know what happened next. Covid-19 arrived and life changed. Our borders were closed and there was no way that Tina and the boys could get home to Robbie. This proved to be quite a difficult time for this little family but through all the ups and downs Tina kept running twice a week with Jim’s morning group and soon she was persuaded to join the longer Saturday runs. She got stronger and fitter and we all learnt a lot about Mongolia and what it was like living there. Once or twice, Ben, her eldest son, also joined us for a run.

About a month ago, after being away from Robbie for 8 months, Tina was advised that she and the boys had been cleared to return home and she had to get everything ready and be able to leave at a moment’s notice. There was a lot to finalize and it was with mixed emotions that she began to prepare for her trip.

Through it all Tina expressed her gratitude to our little band of runners for helping to keep her sane during all the highs and lows of her stay. She has decided that she wants to become a member of FHAC even though she is only here for a couple of months of the year. It was during her travel preparations that Tina heard about our “Raising the Fence Challenge” and without any hesitation she has generously donated R500 towards this project to say thank you for all the runs and the company.

As I write this, Tina is on route to Mongolia. Cape Town to Johannesburg then on to Istanbul, then to Frankfurt and finally to Ulaanbaatar. Once the family arrive, they will have to be in isolation for 21 days before they can finally return to their apartment where they will have to spend another 7 days in a more relaxed isolation environment.

Tina, it was great having you with us and getting to know you. Thank you so much for your generous donation and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

22 September 2020

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