The story of John Gilmour: a 2:38 Marathoner at Age 60
All In My Stride tells of John Gilmour's early days living in a group settlement in the South West of Western Australia, the struggle for survival during the Great Depression, enlistment in the Army as a fit young man, and his coming to terms with major damage to his eyesight through malnutrition in Changi gaol.
Worse was to come - nightmare years as a slave labourer in Japan. Gilmour was a 2/4th machine gunner. He returned to Perth after the war, just skin and bones, but went on to rehabilitate himself and later set world records in every event from 800 metres to the Marathon.
In fact, when he was 60 he ran a 2 hours 38 minute marathon, which met the qualifying standard for the Australian olympic team. He was on pre-retirement leave at the time - what an inspiration in the International year of the older person. On his subsequent return to Japan as a world champion veteran athlete he received the respect of his rivals and honours from authorities.
Richard Harris wrote John Gilmour's story as a message of hope to people of all ages everywere - to have a vision, to keep going, and to take setbacks in one's stride. It is more than a book about running. It is about the strength of the human spirit when adversity is shared, the support provided by friends, how a little bit of hope will take you a long way, and of how small acts of kindness from strangers can be of value beyond measure. Richard Harris was born near Gateshead, England, and now lives in Western Australia. He was a journalist with various newspapers and coordinated public relations for a major government department for manyyears before retiring in 1998.
All in My Stride: John Gilmour's story is an inspiration to all. 216 pages, 70+ illustrations. Available from Richard Harris at 30 Cosmelia Way, Parkwood, WA 6147 Australia. Ph 0 94576 102 (Cost is $A20, with packaging 0.95 cents and postage $9 to United States; $10 to UK. Bulk copies direct from the publisher, Hesperian Press, PO Box 317, Victoria Park WA 6979 Australia. Hesperian Press fax is 08 9361 2333 (24 hours). E-mail inquiries: Richard Harris: firstname.lastname@example.org