Local walker-runner Bob Hardy keeps us up to date on his latest activities.Here is his latest update.

Bob Hardy, The Walker Runner 2019, sponsored by CHIP Reverse Mortgage and HUGO MOBILITY, celebrating the 22nd Anniversary of my bone marrow transplant for Leukemia, 10th Anniversary of my total hip replacement and 7th Anniversary of retirement from bicycle racing caused by a loss of balance due to blood clots and surgeries.

Bob Hardy, The Walker Runner,  2019 racing.

After an amazing 21st, October 2018 Toronto Marathon walker race, in the freezing cold time of 5hr 23 min, 65 min faster than my inaugural 2016 Ottawa Marathon, my goal for 2019 is a 5hr Ottawa and 4hrs, 45 min Toronto Marathon, 14 hr 100-km walker race special and still on track to qualify for the Boston Marathon in 2020, before my 70th birthday.

HOW: In 2018 I listened to past and present coaches and advisers. Their advice was to practice the marathon by walker racing a distance almost replicating the marathon (inside) where there are none of the elements likely to cause injury, where I can  easily monitor distance, time, heart rate and general condition.

And so I did.

WHEN:I started on July 30th, 2018, after the Ottawa Marathon, with a 21 mile time trial at the Cornwall Civic Complex running track. I finished in 4hrs and 5 min. On September 6th I finished  in

4 hrs  and on October 4th finished in 3 hrs, 55 min. Ten minute improvement in 10 weeks.

Two weeks and two days later I walker raced the Toronto Waterfront in record time.

And so in 2019 I’m going the extra mile and starting early .

I have increased  the time trial distance  from 21miles, 33.6-km to 22 miles, 35.2-km and started early, really early.

January 13th. Completed my first 22 mile time trial in 4 hours, 11 minutes and I really felt the extra mile.

Before my second 22 mile time trial I wanted to improve both the aero dynamics  and comfort of my HUGO ELITE RACING WALKER.

February 8th

Cookie, my former bicycle mechanic from Kalrim Cycles, modified the front end of the HUGO ELITE RACE WALKER  and fitted  the Bontrager XL aero bars.

On February 10th , my second 22 mile time trial  I test drove the new aero bars and finished in a time of 4 hrs, 10 min despite the newly installed aero bars that slowed me down.

The first 10 miles with the new aero bars was a disaster. To smooth out the transition to the new aero bars I left the screws  slightly loose so I could adjust on the fly which created more problems.. The more adjustment I made, the more they seemed to move without my input. To cut a long story short the bars accidentally fell into position around the 10 mile mark so I pulled off the track,  tightened all the screws and discovered the comfort of a really smooth walker race.  The first thing to do was  adjust my body  to the aero bars by resting  my fore arms on the supports which created the first really comfortable racing position.  I soon discovered three walker racing positions  and one good running position using the regular hand grips.

For the last four years I had been using knee pads tied to the handles to rest my fore arms and elbows and attached basic aero bars for grip. At the time it seemed like a good idea but the more miles I raced the more injuries I incurred. The further 1 walker raced the more I sweat and slipped off the knee pads bruising my elbows and often losing control of the walker

There’s plenty of improvements needed but the new aero bars really worked in the end.  One less problem for the upcoming Ottawa Marathon.

The event was a Cornwall Alzheimer’s fund raiser. Thanks to Jennifer Weeks, Communication and Campaign Coordinator for her time and patience.

My next 22 mile time trial. March 10th.

Flattening out my three surgery belly to help me go faster and reduce my waste size.

I ( somewhat) flattened  out my three surgery belly with a daily dose of 40 push ups, 40 crunches and 5 x twenty second leg lifts  without damaging the hernias. Since the surgeries of 2012 I was left with hernias, the biggest of which is about the size of a grapefruit.

So as to prevent injury to my stomach I took the advice of a surgeon and used a support which is basically a wrap around me wide strap that  holds in the hernias. For a while I used a women’s girdle as well but that is no longer necessary because the muscles are again gaining strength. For my grapefruit sized hernia I needed a hand, and still do so.. I hold the big fellow down firmly  while I do the leg lifts.

These exercises kick start my day and I believe, improve my walker racing performance.

I am what I eat and drink and I drink lots of water.

It seems the new Canadian Food Guide basically  caught up with my eating requirements. Not that I need a guide. I also refer to my Bible of walker Racing, “Walking”, by John Stanton.

No one would drive their car on an empty gas tank.

Finally, an amazing story of a man who lost 200 lbs and raced a marathon with a lot of help from his friends. On January 28, I was fortunate to share the stage with Stephen Last on The CTV Morning News.

Stephen’s story is amazing. I have attached the  CTV web link.


Amidst the really catastrophic health issues we have in North America, Obesity is the most costly in dollars and pre-mature death.

Global News report .  February 10th 2017

34% of Canadian adults will be obese by 2025, and it will cost billions: report

In Canada, more than 10 million adults (34 per cent of those over 18 years) will live with obesity in eight years. Treating health problems caused by the excessive weight, such as heart disease, diabetes, liver disease and certain cancers, will cost the US $27.5 billion (roughly C $33.7 billion) each year. And between 2017 and 2025, the total cost of treating those illnesses will be US$207 billion.

The country with the most concerning obesity prognosis is the United States, which is expected to spend US $555 billion treating obesity-related problems in 2025 alone. The number of people living with obesity in America will be nearly 108 million.

So, what am I doing?

Saving lives by teaching kids and their parents to walk a long way. Spring 2019.

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Bob Hardy, The Walker Runner. Health and wellness website