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Granny almost around the world on foot

An 81-year-old granny from Durbanville has walked almost three-quarters right around the world over the past 27 years.

Olga Bloomfield from D’Urbanvale started to walk at the Run/Walk for Life Club Welgemoed 27 years ago and joined the Run/Walk for Life Club Durbanville in September 2000. She has walked a total of 29 300 km up to now – 10 times the distance from Cape Town to Pretoria and back.

At first Bloomfield started to walk casually in the neighbourhood with a then neighbour in Welgemoed and after a while they decided to join the local Run/Walk for Life Club, where she also met her walking partner, Tineke Singels, with whom she is still walking today.

They eventually became friends with others and named themselves the Walkie Talkies, “because they could talk non-stop while walking”, Bloomfield explains.

Her walking friends had a trophy made for her titled “The Naughty Talkies” when she completed 28 000 km.

“We started with about 7 km to 8 km; we used to do fast walking,” she says.

Today she is walking between 11 and 12 km three times a week with Singels, especially after lockdown.

“Now we walk at a much slower pace. We talk so much that before we realise it we have covered 11 or 12 km,” she says.

“Just because you are old does not mean you can’t walk. You can walk as far or as little as you like, as long as you walk,” she says.

According to Bloomfield despite her years, she has not been ill in more than 27 years. “I am so healthy, I am worried I will never die,” she laughs.

Even when she was diagnosed with colon cancer and had an operation about four years ago – the first robotic operation in the country – she recovers swiftly, she says.

According to Bloomfield it was not all about the exercise, but she made a lot of friends over the years – “in fact most of the friends I have, I have met through Run/Walk for Life”, she says.

She is not the oldest at the club, of which the ages of members are between 31 and 85 years. The oldest members are Nelly-May Muller (81) and Lionel Thompson (85).

Bloomfield plans to keep walking as long as she can. “I want to walk around the world,” she says.

She also takes part actively in neighbourhood watch patrolling in D’Urbanvale for the past seven years already. “Everyone must do their bit,” she believes.

She loves reading, especially thrillers and romance novels. Bloomfield is also a qualified ballet teacher, who has taught ballet in Durbanville for over 13 years.

She has two daughters, Deidré Putter (49) and Gillian Kay (52), and two grandsons.

Walks are presented in groups on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 06:30, 07:00 and 07:45.

  • For more information about Run/Walk for Life Durbanville and how to join, contact Guy Brown on 084 627 1097.
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