That extra mile
Bob Hardy, the walker runner from Alexandria, has a number of goals in mind as he prepares for the 2019 season.
One of his objectives is to raise awareness about obesity and means of dealing with the problem that has affected a disturbingly high number of people.
“It is a serious issue,” points out Mr. Hardy. Fortunately, basic exercises, such as walking, can go a long way in reducing the health risks associated with being overweight. While weight loss is the most evident benefit of regular exercise, Mr. Hardy observes that there are mental advantages to maintaining an active lifestyle.
“The walker’s high” achieved when endorphins kick in gives a mood boost, fending off depression, says Mr. Hardy. Fighting obesity will likely be the theme of his 100-kilometre walker race he has scheduled for August. But first the 68-year-old is preparing for a May 26 marathon in Ottawa.
“I’m celebrating the 22nd anniversary of my bone marrow transplant walker racing in my fourth Ottawa Marathon and raising funds for the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at the Ottawa General Hospital,” he says.
The Ottawa unit is the only bone marrow transplant facility unit in Eastern Canada. He can be reached at 613-361-0504 or [email protected]hardythewalkerrunner.com
His training regime encountered some hiccups -- literally -- earlier this month. “I had hiccups for four days,” relates Mr. Hardy. The problem was the result of a restricted esophagus that was a complication from his bone marrow transplant.
In 2018, he had an “amazing” Toronto Marathon, in the freezing cold time, registering a time of five hours, 23 minutes, “65 minutes faster than my inaugural 2016 Ottawa marathon.”
“My goal for 2019 is a five-hour Ottawa and four hours, 45 minutes in Toronto, a 14-hour 100-kilometre walker race special and still be on track to qualify for the Boston Marathon in 2020, before my 70th birthday.” By going an extra mile, he hopes to trim his time.
“I started in July, 2018 with a oncea-month indoor 21-mile time trial, doing the distance indoors without the stress of the outdoors,” he explains. “The 21-mile time trial worked,” says Mr. Hardy. “For the 2019 Ottawa Marathon I want to finish in less than five hours by going the extra training mile,” he says.
“January 13, I walker raced my first 22-mile, 35.2-km time trial at the Cornwall Civic Complex. I finished in four hours, 11 minutes. The extra mile was not a problem.”