‘A mean com­peti­tor -- in the nicest way’

The Glengarry News - - Sports - “I was gob smacked” by a testi-

Alexan­dria race walker Bob Hardy has been on a roll lately, set­ting a per­sonal best and re­ceiv­ing ac­co­lades for his com­pet­i­tive spirit.

His per­sonal best came in the Pointe-Claire Half Marathon, which he com­pleted in two hours and 20 min­utes, 12 min­utes faster than his 2018 time.

The course is “not easy with my lit­tle wheels,” says Mr. Hard. “There are some very rough ar­eas which re­ally slow me down and some very smooth ar­eas where I put

He is now “def­i­nitely on track for the Bos­ton Marathon qual­i­fi­ca­tion in 2020.”

Speaking event

June 25 was “my most suc­cess­ful speaking event to date.” Pre­sent­ing his “Overcoming Ob­sta­cles and Achiev­ing Goals” talk in Ot­tawa, he was ac­com­pa­nied by Jim Glover, a pro­fes­sional cy­cling coach, who helped him im­prove his per­for­mance.

The tes­ti­mo­nial

as sub­tle as a com­pet­i­tive “streak.” He is a full-body, head-to-toe com­peti­tor, in spite of all the dif­fi­cult health chal­lenges he has dealt with in his re­mark­able life.

“It’s his com­pet­i­tive drive that helps him get him through it all. And it’s this same com­pet­i­tive drive that pushes him to reach out to other peo­ple and to en­cour­age them to join him in the ride, the walk, the run, or what­ever the lat­est action might be.

He is a “walker run­ner” – some­thing that looks like a mis­print but isn’t. Given his en­coun­ters with leukemia, bone mar­row transplant­s, bal­ance prob­lems, and a long list of other chal­lenges, he has taken on marathon run­ning (yes, as in go­ing fast against the clock). And he now does that with the aid of his slightly mod­i­fied walker, hence: walker run­ner. Bos­ton Marathon 2020 look out!

At his re­cent pre­sen­ta­tion at the Shenkman Arts Cen­tre, “Mae­stro” Bob Hardy re­galed the au­di­ence with sto­ries (and video!) of episodes in his life in rock mu­sic, com­pet­i­tive jiu-jitsu, com­pet­i­tive bi­cy­cle rac­ing, com­pet­i­tive IV pole rac­ing, and now com­pet­i­tive walker run­ning in marathons. None of this is a side-hobby, a di­ver­sion, or just a bit of a lark. Com­pet­ing means push­ing him­self, not giv­ing in, never giv­ing up hope. And, for him, win­ning!

His com­pet­i­tive­ness is the drive to go be­yond what you think might be pos­si­ble. He uses his sto­ries and his ac­com­plish­ments to en­cour­age oth­ers he meets along the way to join him in the task of fac­ing all of life’s chal­lenges, head on. He not only talks about courage, de­ter­mi­na­tion, dis­ci­pline, com­mit­ment, in­de­pen­dence, healthy life­style choices, he also makes it ap­par­ent just how much fun he has do­ing all of this. De­spite the in­evitable pain.

His is a com­pelling story, and he is a brave, in­spir­ing, and very funny sto­ry­teller. His message is that com­pe­ti­tion is not al­ways about win­ning (though for him it cer­tainly is!), it’s about re­spond­ing to the heath chal­lenges that each of us will con­front on our own journey through life. We en­tered this “race” the day we were born. And we’re still in it, even as var­i­ous bits of us refuse to function as they once did. But you don’t give up. You don’t moan. You make your­self go around that track once more, up that hill again, down the course a sec­ond time, ever closer to what­ever fin­ish line we choose to set for our­selves. Oh yes, and it’s a rule that each of us must have a re­ally good laugh along the way, no mat­ter how much pain we might be in.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

3 ON 3: The an­nual Canada Day 3 on 3 bas­ket­ball tour­na­ment was a huge suc­cess with al­most 50 play­ers show­ing off some top notch skills. The tour­na­ment, which raised $275 for the JumpS­tart pro­gram, was won by Yale Chad­sey, Alex MacMaster and Spencer Lordz, shown here with or­ga­nizer Brian Cad­dell. Spence Lordz also won the MVP award. Matthew Houlzet man­aged the games and Garry McDougall pro­vided a gen­er­a­tor.

SUB­MIT­TED PHO­TOS

GIV­ING BACK: Alexan­dria race walker Bob Hardy presents a cheque to Dr. Lothar Hueb­sch, a hema­tol­o­gist who over­saw Mr. Hardy’s bone mar­row trans­plant in 1997, and Me­gan Raci­cot, of the Ot­tawa Hospital Foundation.

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