Written by Bernard Andersen
2018 will usher in our 9th Barry Haden Family Day. Our humble club has almost doubled in membership over the last nine years and many new members have asked about the naming of this event? Who was Barry Haden and why we honour his memory?
I first met Barry at Glenwood Boys High in the early eighties, he continued his education in Natal and I moved to Wits University. He joined Rand Road Warriors in 2002. Barry’s running pedigree was phenomenal, to say the least. Comrades green number, a silver medal at Ladysmith/Bergville to mention but a few of his accolades.
His passion for running and his caring, sensitive, modest personality soon made Barry a popular member of our club. Barry was an inspiration to all of us, he was always ready to help and advise. Despite his noteworthy accomplishments in running, Barry always remained modest, he was in awe of every other runner and was quick to commend and compliment their achievements. Just before comrades Barry joined our morning band of crazy warriors, getting up at 4.30 or 5am. A very special bond develops between a group that spends so many hours training and sacrificing together.
Barry had the amazing gift of smiling through any hardship. He would remain positive despite all odds.
He was our ‘choirmaster’ and would lead our sing-alongs, keeping our spirits up and encouraging us through the final kilometers of many a long race. He was a choreographer too and had us all waving to imaginary crowds and greeting all the pretty girls who were called his ‘sisters’. He spoke passionately about his love for gardening and his roses. He lived for his family, his wife Guin, son Henry and his new little daughter Elizabeth. Being a Durban boy, Sharks rugby matches were analyzed in great depth during out runs. He even phoned his Dad in Durban for scores of Sharks games to keep us updated on our away runs.
Barry was never one to complain or gripe about anything. He led by example, with passion, pride, dignity, and strength. Barry was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer two weeks after running the 2008 Comrades Marathon with our club and passed away on 7 November 2008.
We all witnessed this strength and steely determination over his last months with us.
Words cannot adequately describe how special this man was.
Our Committee decided to honour Barry by staging a family day in January 2009. We all met at our Time Trial venue and ran, walked or rode as many laps of our 4km route as we could. This tradition has remained; we meet as a club in January, all friends and family are welcome and encouraged to join us. We also use this opportunity to hand our new licenses and meet up with members – new and old – and spend time with our running family.
Barry Haden Family Day & Welcoming New Members Welcoming event will be held on Sunday 21 January 2018.
Date: 21 January 2018
Venue: Beverly Park, Beverly Avenue, Highway Gardens
RSVP to Bernard (asap) via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Barry is an inspiration to us all. Barry has run and won his last earthly race. He will always be a part of our club. His legacy, or should I say, legend will always live on.