Saturday, 3 March 2012

When one of our own passes...

Our adventure racing community is close to my heart. It is one that I've been immersed in since 1999 and through this sport I've travelled, raced, written and discovered. Although I thrive on the physical challenge it is very much the people - both friends and acquaintances - that are most special. They're kindred spirits with similar interests, activities, passions and strengths; physical and mental. I have had the most incredible team mates over the years; I most enjoy the many hi-bye encounters with other participants and I've made very special friends.

As it is with any community, I've had to say good bye to dear friends who have died tragically and too soon. Paul, a treasured friend, passed away in October 2004 while I was in the US; and Philip died in July 2007. I think of them both fondly and regularly.

I was with great sadness that I received news this morning that George Forder, one of the original 'generation' of adventure racers in South Africa, was killed in a car accident. He and his wife, Penny, were hit in a head-on collision by a car that was overtaking another. George died on the scene and Penny was taken to hospital. I'm not sure how she is but I do know she is conscious because she sent a quick reply to a message I sent her saying that it was ok for me to notify the AR community of George's passing.

The most publically presentable of George's photos ;)
When someone dies memories flood your mind. George lived in 'Maritzburg and while I can't remember not knowing George since I started AR, I haven't seen him in person since I went down for Triple Challenge in 2010. I used his K2 for the race. Nonetheless, we've been avid online buddies so he's always been around in my life and communications.

On Thursday he gave me a call, by mistake actually. His voice recognition thing on his phone dialled me instead of someone else. The call ended before I could pick it up and then he phoned again moments later. He'd decided to redial to tell me a funny tale; we had a nice chin-wag with much laughter.

Without writing more here (I've put a post on I want to put a thank you out there that I had the benefit of crossing trails with George for a decent period of time and for the colour and smiles that were part of our interactions and friendship, even if over the distance of two Provinces.


NewB said...

Thank you for the write up on my uncle. I've read the other post and it echoes the exact feelings my wife and I were chatting about once we heard this morning (in Australia). If ever there was a man who enjoyed what he set himself to, George was that man and he will live long in all of us. He zest for life is infectious. I hope the AR community will take some of that on.

Greatfully, Blake.

Laura (niece in USA) said...

I recently read a poem called THE DASH by Linda Ellis and immediately thought of my Uncle George. I meant to share it with him and didn't get the time to do so. If you read that poem, you will understand why I thought of George. He was amazing man and will physically be sorely missed. Thanks for your lovely posting. Here's to you uncle.