Richard Bailey

2007 Ottawa Fall Colours @ 41K

Born in Yorkshire, England 3 years after the end of WW2 he remembers bombed out buildings, the end of rationing, he was four years old when he first ate ice cream, and back then, there was only one flavour, and it’s still his favourite—vanilla

In high school, he ran track in the 100 and 220 yard distances along with long & triple jump field events and also played rugby. He still holds his high school record for the long jump.

In his 30s, Richard joined the Toronto Central YMCA for fitness classes, and after 2 years discovered their marathon training group and decided to run one. Thus, advancing within 10 weeks from aerobic classes to the event that represents the epitome of athletic endurance.

Richard joined Longboat Roadrunners in its founding year and throughout the 1980s, the heydays of running, he became a “serious” runner along with his fellow club members.

After retirement in 2006 from the stress and long-hours of a career in information technology management, Richard gradually trained up, and achieved stunning results, setting numerous club records, and consistently winning his gender and age category.

Richard consistently qualified for the Boston Marathon by a huge time margin but has never actually participated in the race.

Richard is an engineer by training and so he insists that this write-up about him focus on the facts—hard, cold facts. However, along with facts are theories that explain facts. So here is a little of both.

The Fact is in the years between 1981-87 age 33-39 he achieved his PB’s

800m 2:10 1500m 4:24

Mile 4:49 3000m 9:32

5000m 17:07 10K 34:57

15K 55:33 10 miles 59:32

Half 1:19:13 30K 1:57:58

Marathon 2:58:30

The fact is that Richard is a phenomenal runner. He holds 36 club records (both track and road distances). He holds the 4 x 800-metre indoor Canadian track record as part of an Ontario men’s team, aged 65-69. He has participated in cross-country races for many years including in 2018 when Longboat’s men’s team, aged 70-74 were provincial and national champions.

2017 Scotia Marathon by Tony Serwatuk

The theory behind Richard’s running success is not much of a secret: it is hard work and consistency. It is an approach that is purposefully targeted, precisely planned, and logically executed. Richard is known to meticulously record his training runs, distance, pace, air temperature and weather conditions, weight and pulse readings and other assorted measurements, rounded to 2 decimal places.

The fact is that Richard is an active, contributing member of Longboat Roadrunners. Since 2011, he has maintained the club’s website. He regularly posts announcements and members’ race results to the club’s Facebook page. At one point, he was the club’s secretary, tracking and organizing documents and historical materials including the whole archive of Longboat newsletters and Bulletins which are now available online including a 2006 article written about him. He has mentored many members and is known to be generous about giving technical running advice to runners of all speeds, whether you follow it or not.

The fact is that Richard survived two near-death experiences in the past two years and yet he keeps on moving.

By Sandra Tam

Comments are closed.