ROBERT “Bob” HARDY
– the WALKER RUNNER!
AND ACHIEVING GOALS.
Bob’s story begins with Leukaemia and a Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt, to racing an IV pole, to racing a bicycle 35,000-km in 8 years, to writing a Symphonic Music Work, performing it, recording it and getting awarded for it.
To Bob Hardy, The Walker Runner, completing four full, 42.2-km marathons, eleven half, 21.1-km, half marathons and five 10-km races.
Qualify for the Boston Marathon and Perform Fifth day Suite: Son et Lumière before his 70th birthday.
For information or to book an event
ROBERT “BOB” HARDY
IS THE WALKER RUNNER
Leukemia and bone marrow transplant survivor Robert “Bob” Hardy developed walker racing skills, with a walker, after a balance condition forced him into retirement from marathon cycling. When Hardy first turned to competitive cycling to get over his cancer and get on with life, he founded a 120-km Terry Fox Bicycle Challenge in 2001, represented Canada in the 2003 and 2005 World Transplant Games, completed six 354-km Rideau Lakes Cycle Tours and six 120-km Terry Fox Challenges, missed 2008 and 2009 because of hip replacement and came back with a new shorter 50-km Terry Fox Challenge for 2010-2012. Several surgeries and complications in October 2012 resulted in complete loss of balance. Because he has no balance he has to use a walker and so he has chosen to race his walker.
Formerly HUGO Mobility
Life at the Competitive Edge
Robert Hardy is a mean competitor! I mean this in the nicest possible way. He doesn’t possess something 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 ju-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.
July 2, 2019.
“I just wanted to say that it was so inspirational seeing Bob out there, it helped me push that much harder, anybody that thinks they can’t run you just got lapped by a guy with a walker, take that!”
– Anonymous lady, 10KM participant
“After much discussion and because of the speed Bob has attained, a final decision has been made to give Bob The title of Walker Runner, despite the fact he is actually a Race walker.”
“Racewalking, or race walking, is a long-distance discipline within the sport of athletics. Although it is a foot race, it is different from running in that one foot must appear to be in contact with the ground at all times.”