Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Goose Bump Monday leads me to Red Sock Fridays

So I have blogged before about how I have (finally) joined a running club. Not that I have actually run with or for them, or run a race at all yet this year but still... I have now got my kit and license and have entered 3x 10km races. So we are getting there.

Anyway, on Monday there was a club social so off I went to have a look-see and meet a few people and get a feel for what they are like etc. The club operates from Hamilton's Rugby Club in Greenpoint which is a lovely location. So we were upstairs in the pub looking down at the buff rugby players training - what's not to like!?

But the point of this post is to tell you about the goose-bump moment I had...

John McInroy - of Red Sock Fridays fame - was there to talk about the Red Socks campaign. I had seen and heard about them before so was vaguely interested but reasonably ambivalent about it. Until he got up. He is such a lively, animated and fun guy with a real zest for life. But as he was talking I got more and more intrigued and compelled by the story...

Read the links below for more details but the basic synopsis is that John and his best friend Ian worked in Dublin for a year. At the end of the year they moved on in life to separate parts of the world and were gutted at their parting so wanted to do something to remember each other always. Ian told John about a teacher back at school who used to wear red socks on Remembrance (Poppy) Day. It turned out that the teacher and his friend had been in WWII and captured at the Battle of Tobruk and sent to an Italian POW camp. They had made that pact that if they survived they would always wear red socks on Fridays after that to remember and commemorate each other.

In 1933, a man named Phil Masterton-Smith cycled I730km from Cape Town to Pietermaritzburg (because he could not afford the train!)to take part in the Comrades Marathon. After his long journey to the starting line, Masterton-Smith took part in the Comrades the next day. He placed 10th and earned himself the nickname Unogwaja, meaning "the hare". This incredible story landed Masterton-Smith in the history books, and is at the heart of the UNOGWAJA challenge, Masterton-Smith had already won the Comrades in 1931 at the age of 19, making him the youngest Comrades winner to date, He was later killed in battle during World War II.... You guessed it he was killed at the Battle of Tobruk!

So John McInroy now takes part in the Unogwaja challenge and using Red Sock Fridays they raise money for charities, and there are Red Sock Friday runs all over the place and the idea has just taken off...

Why did this interest me..?

Well my very own Grandfather was involved in WWII and was stationed up in North Africa, and was captured in Tobruk and sent to and spent 2 years in an Italian Prison of War camp. He very well knew the Red Socks guys. It was a goose bump moment for me.

I now proudly own a pair of red Socks and intend to take part in a local red Socks Friday run with them tomorrow morning in Cape Town.


*In memory of my Grandfather Norman Vivienne Fraser aka Bobby Fraser.*

No comments:

Post a Comment