Tur­bo char­ging the wal­ker for Ter­ry Fox

Tribune Express - - COMMUNITY - DIANE HUN­TER diane.hun­ter@eap.on.ca

At 9:05 a.m. on Sep­tem­ber 20, Robert Har­dy star­ted a 10 km speed-walk with his wal­ker. One hour, 11 minutes and 35 se­conds la­ter, he was done. “It wasn’t my best time.” Har­dy quip­ped. “It was a good time. At 65, I’m still alive.”

“At the last mi­nute, I de­ci­ded to tune up the tur­bo char­ged wal­ker, warm up my legs, change the wheels and race again for the Ter­ry Fox Run.” Har­dy did 50 laps, or ten ki­lo­metres, around the Dome in Alexan­dria.

Har­dy has been a Ter­ry Fox team mem­ber since 2001 when he was diag­no­sed with leu­ke­mia. “In 2001, I was ra­cing bi­cycles and ri­ding ma­ra­thons at the time to get over the can­cer,” Har­dy ex­plai­ned. “In 2012, I lost my ba­lance and, in 2013, I crea­ted the Wob­bly Wal­ker Wal­ker-thon.”

At 1 p.m., Har­dy was joined by the Wob­bly Wal­ker ra­cing team. The Wob­bly Wal­kers are a group of ma­ture ath­letes who, for the most part, train with the Pa­lace Ra­cing Team. “We com­ple­ted a dis­tance of 2 km and there were no in­ci­dents,” said Har­dy, “apart from one spee­ding ticket is­sued to a re­ck­less in­di­vi­dual, not to be named.”

Har­dy is a leu­ke­mia and bone mar­row trans­plant sur­vi­vor finding so­lace in hu­mour. Har­dy foun­ded a 120-km Ter­ry Fox Bi­cycle Chal­lenge in 2001 to help him get over his can­cer and get on with his life. He crea­ted the wal­ker-thon af­ter a ba­lance condi­tion made it dif­fi­cult for him to conti­nue with ma­ra­thon cy­cling.

Har­dy re­pre­sen­ted Ca­na­da in the 2003 and 2005 World Trans­plant Games and has com­ple­ted six 354-km Ri­deau Lakes Cycle Tours, and six 120-km Ter­ry Fox Chal­lenges.

Har­dy re­cei­ved a hip re­pla­ce­ment and was unable to com­pete in 2008 and 2009 as a re­sult. When he re­tur­ned, he crea­ted a new shor­ter 50-km Ter­ry Fox Chal­lenge. He has since had se­ve­ral sur­ge­ries and com­pli­ca­tions re­sul­ting in com­plete loss of ba­lance. Ho­we­ver, Har­dy’s de­ter­mi­na­tion and hu­mour keep him going. He conti­nues to race with his wal­ker. Robert Har­dy, at the La­chine/Bon­ne­ville half ma­ra­thon, Au­gust 23. On the 35th an­ni­ver­sa­ry of the Ter­ry Fox Run, Robert Har­dy did his bit to sup­port the cause.

Har­dy puts his hu­mour to work at Par­ti­ci­pa­tion’s Mu­sic Hall Theatre Pro­duc­tions as a mu­si­cian, play­wright and ac­tor. Har­dy will be hea­ding up the mu­si­cal play Syl­la­bi­fi­ca­tion from a Sy­co­phant at The Priest Mill, 8 Main Street South, 3rd Floor, in Alexan­dria on Fri­day, Sep­tem­ber 25, at 7 p.m. The play is part of a fun­drai­ser for the Glen­gar­ry Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal.

Par­ti­ci­pa­tion’s Mu­sic Hall Theatre Pro­duc­tions will al­so be put­ting on A Down Town Ab­bey Ch­rist­mas Special on No­vem­ber 26th at the NAV Centre in Corn­wall.

Robert Har­dy wants to walk with other wal­kers who need wal­kers. “Walk as far as you want. Just walk and en­joy. It’s a safe walk around the park on a safe sur­face.”

More information on the Wob­bly Wal­kers and Syl­la­bi­fi­ca­tion from a Sy­co­phant can be found through Robert Har­dy at la­plu­me­mo­derne@sym­pa­ti­co.ca or 613-525-9943.

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