That ex­tra mile

The Glengarry News - - Health, Beauty, Fitness, Nutrition - -- Richard Ma­honey

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.”

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