ALEXANDRIA – It’s 70 year old Bob Hardy’s comeback trail.
The walker runner from Alexandria had to reduce his athletic challenges in the spring and deal with injuries and health problems, mainly sciatica.
But in Alexandria he recently tested his limits and recently completed his first 100-meter sprint “Full Out” at an average speed of 23.5 km / h.
It’s part of his training for a 100-meter sprint at the Terry Fox Sports Facility in Mooney’s Bay, Ottawa, on September 5th; practicing is an effort to improve performance and have better balance, not fall.
But he couldn’t avoid spilling something last November when he did the sprint while filming a video for the Ottawa Hospital Foundation.
However, that was before Hardy upgraded his gear significantly. Hardy started 2021 with a very shiny new toy – “Trionicnator”, a Trionic racing machine – which he called his mid-life Crisis-at-70 racing machine.
(It’s about) wanting to go faster and further, ”said Hardy. “This (new walker) is designed for (high-intensity events).”
It went well during workouts and performed much better than the old machine, which has smaller wheels and tends to jam outdoors.
“(The Trionicnator) rides well in all conditions, it turns easily and moves more smoothly,” he said.
But sciatica was still a major hurdle earlier this year. Hardy’s plans for a 50-kilometer ultra-marathon run for a virtual run on May 23 on Ottawa racing weekend had to be changed and replaced with a 10-kilometer walker walk.
Hardy said his next sprint would be this Sunday. “I have to restrict the race completely,” he said. “I’m getting old.”
Earlier this year, Hardy was working on his back problems, stretching and walking at Oriental Medical Care, and said he wouldn’t give up on some longer-term goals, including qualifying for the Boston Marathon.
The 70-year-old leukemia and bone marrow transplant survivor was featured in an Ottawa Hospital Foundation advertising campaign last year that included wall panels in facilities and a mural of the OC Transpo bus, and was featured in print advertising in Postmedia Ottawa newspapers.
Hardy has survived two blood clots with complications, cancerous tumors on his kidneys, and over 12,000 km of walker races over the years; he developed his skills as a walker racer after a state of equilibrium forced him to retire from marathon cycling.