The tough got going
Despite cold conditions, and a wardrobe oversight, Alexandria race walker Bob Hardy posted a personal best time in a Toronto race recently.
Calling it “my toughest marathon to date,” the 68-year-old completed the 42.2-kilometre marathon in a personal best of 5:23.08, of three minutes and 52 seconds faster than his previous best time of 5:27 set in Ottawa.
“We waited at the start line from 7:45 a.m. until just after 9 a.m. A 40-kilometre-per-hour wind was blowing along University Avenue. The temperature was minus-4 with the wind chill factor,” he relates.
He forgot his shorts, but he was wearing long pants, along with three shirts and three pairs of socks.
“I arrived at the start line and after about 15 minutes I looked down and realized I had forgotten my shorts. No one noticed or they were just being polite.”
The cold was “extreme,” he says, conceding that the conditions aggravated the effects of the marrow transplant he underwent to beat leukemia, of a hip replacement and of the hernias caused by the surgeries.
“I shiver uncontrollably. A lady race walker hugged me before the race started. Her comment, ‘You are really shivering.’ I was.”
Placing third in the walker category, he was first in his age group (65-69), and the only one in that group to finish.
AGAINST THE WIND: Bob Hardy faces his toughest test.