Track leg­end lives on

Canning Times - - FRONT PAGE - Ben Smith

THE up­com­ing John Gil­mour Track Race will have ex­tra mean­ing when it re­turns to Coker Park in Novem­ber.

This year’s in­car­na­tion of the an­nual 10km race will be the first since the pass­ing of the man it was named af­ter.

Gil­mour, who spent time in a POW camp in World War II, broke mul­ti­ple masters ath­let­ics world records, and helped found Can­ning Dis­tricts Ath­let­ics Club and the West Aus­tralia Marathon Club.

He died in Au­gust aged 99 but re­mained an ac­tive run­ner un­til his death, even com­pet­ing in the World Masters Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships in Perth in 2016.

Race di­rec­tor Evan Kolbe, who knew Gil­mour for years through his work with Can­ning District Ath­let­ics Club and the WA Marathon Club, said Gil­mour was an “icon”.

“It gets bandied around a lot, but he was a world­class run­ner and a thor­oughly de­cent gen­tle- man,” Kolbe said.

“They broke the mould when they made him.”

“His­tor­i­cally, we have run that event in his name since early 1973. He was a leg­end back then and got bet­ter with age.”

The event will fea­ture two 10km races around the Coker Park track: a race for run­ners who can run the dis­tance in un­der 40 min­utes, and an­other for run­ners who need a bit longer.

Kolbe en­cour­aged peo­ple to ei­ther take part or watch the race to hon­our Gil­mour’s mem­ory.

“If he was still here, he would’ve had his 100th birth­day,” he said. “The fact he passed means there is a lot of peo­ple com­ing to ac­knowl­edge his im­pact over three gen­er­a­tions.

“It’s a good spec­ta­tor event if you didn’t want to run.”

Pic­ture: David Baylis d487682

John Gil­mour 10km race di­rec­tor Evan Kolbe with Can­ning Dis­tricts Ath­letic Club pres­i­dent Wes­ley Sal­is­bury and the prized tro­phy.

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