I was quite sad to hear about the passing away of the great Wally Hayward - one of South Africa's and the world's greatest ultra long distance runners - at the ripe age of 97.
You're only likely to know about Wally Hayward if you're South African, or have a great interest in road running, particularily ultra distance running. Other than running literally more miles than I've had hot dinners, I'd say Wally's most significant achievements are:
- Winning his very first attempt at the Comrades Marathon ( ~ 90km) at the age of 21
- Being the first athlete to break the 6 hour mark for Comrades
- Setting long standing world records for the 100 km (16 yrs), 100 mile (15 yrs) and 24 hour track (26 yrs, and to this day has only been bettered by one person).
- And probably most notably, for being the oldest person to ever complete the Comrades marathon at 80 years old
You can read more of his great acheivements on the website of the marathon named in his honour - http://www.wally.org.za (Background).
Wally was a true running legend, and accordingly, I think the title of this post is quite appropriate.
Run in Peace Wally.