11 July 2014

Laurie O'Hara

This is a profile on the late, great, Laurie O'Hara, it also includes a bit of debate about the use of age grading percentages which at the time this piece was written (30 years?) was relatively new. 
Peter Reeves (The Robot) who won his age cat at the Gold Coast 10K by 7 minutes can now lay claim to the title (the Unbeatable 60 year old). I have previously written about Laurie on this blog (do a search). 

Just a steady week for me this week running mainly at lunchtime to run in warm sunny 20+ O c temps rather than freezing dark early mornings. Not too sure if I have any goals left for the road this year but for sure would love to be able to get to the track season for fast 1500/3000/5000 and maybe 10000.


coach dion said...

Good Luck on the track

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you also, can beat your opposition by 7 minutes at the Gold Coast 10km when you are 60 years of age if your body holds together. Dave what can I say, your results show you're like a good wine, getting better with age. The robot is a bit of a freak of nature but as the face of Garmin you carry a big responsibility to even outdo the freakish achievements the robot has done to date. But don't worry Garmin being such a global company will provide you some wonder drugs (Gball) to keep your body in pristine condition until then. I'm also impressed that you want to attempt to race the distance of which you say hurts the most (1500/3000). The very distance that the robot owns and claims as his and holds all the current 60years records (not the 1500m as Bradford owns that). Your fan base and status as the G Train, McSweeney the bagpipe playing Scotsman and Garmin Lama etc will grow immensely as you tackle the Robot at his own game. Not only will you be Known for equaling Monnas record at the Gold Coast 10km but by then you will be famously known all over the world for the man who Knocked off the freakish Robot and took all his track records. Awesome running Dave only 8 years to go.

Shardy's Doctor said...

Good to see you pulled through your operation Shardy and you must surely be feeling much better to be tormenting the poor Robot . Hasn't he suffered enough ? Even a cybernetic life form can feel utter humiliation . Nice effort by the Garmin Lama to cheer him up and just the sort of gesture that sells heaps of fridge magnets . Hard to know where the Scotsman will go from here . Rumour has it that he has set his bespectacled Garmined sights on a top 10 finish at the B2B 10k followed by record attempts at the glorious jewels that will adorn his masters crown should he achieve them, non other than Australian records at 5k and 10k .

Anonymous said...

Agree with coach Dion . Life's a track .

A Scotsman abroad said...

Even when not competing it is rare week end that doesn't see the towering figure of the man known world wide as the Garmin Lama from casting his not inconsiderable shadow over athletic proceedings somewhere on the planet . This week fellow it was Scotsman and confirmed Garminite , Ian Cameron , who scored an Australian number 1 park run ranking to follow in the footsteps of compatriate David McSweeney . Cameron was quick to pay credit to a man he claimed turned his career around at the ripe old age of 60 and claim Australian Master's running crowns as well this year ." The GTrain certainly turned my career around , " Cameron conceded . " I read his book , The Mr.Garmin Story and was just totally inspired . Made me feel proud to be a Scotsman . My running had stagnated a little in Darwin's stifling humidity and when I read McSweeney's book I knew I had to come to Brisbane's milder climate to experience for myself the electrifying effect of the GTrain . Like many Scotsmen I've made a pilgrimage to North Lakes and had my photo taken on the most famous course in the world . The Roo plus Lake . " When asked had he met his fellow Scotsman yet , Cameron conceded he had not but only posed next to the wax effigy at the Rocks park run , the photo of which was now framed and hung proudly on his mantle at home .

Shardy said...

Thanks Doc. Yes I am feeling much better after I've had a cm of my L5 S1 disc removed while under the sedation of the same GBall drug prescribed to prolong the career of the record breaking Scotsman, McSweeney. My wife Jenny can't stop talking about the record equalling effort of the great Scotsman at the recent Gold Coast 10km. She's even thinking of ditching her prized possession ( a photo with the great Monnas ) claiming that it's not worth much on the open market anymore now that his record has been equalled by the face of Garmin; the one and only David Sweeney (known by many as McSweeney). So, I don't when she's going to get this newly sort after photo with you Dave. I do know she running tomorrow (Sunday 13th of July) at the local 8.3km Rail Trail Fun Run ( Fernvale to Lowood ). If you manage to read this before then you might consider showcasing your considerable talents at this local event thus giving my wife a chance of a photo opportunity with you. I do believe there could also be a guest appearance by the Robot. He's an ambassador for this race because his son Christopher (superman) Reeves is a 5 time winner of this event. Maybe Jenny could get a photo with you on one side and the Robot on the other.

A miserly Scotsman said...

Everything has It's price mate .

Braveheart said...

Braveheart said...
It's true....I was inspired by the Garmin Lama. Languishing in the oppressive tropical heat of Darwin with running times on a downward trajectory... all seemed lost. With my main competitors pouring scorn on my dwindling performances. Post race comments such as "finally beat the old bastard...kicked the Scotsman arse " did little to improve my self esteem. Rejected and downtrodden, I withdrew from the local running community. However, one day while browsing through books in the local Salvation Army store, I came across a book written by Dave Sweeney (Mr Garmin Story). The name instantly caught my attention as I knew of a famous runner by the same name that came from the Castle Sween in Argyllshire North of Glasgow. His story is well know in this part of Scotland. He took the running world by storm at the age of 11. By the age of 20 his fame had spread across the borders to England. Then suddenly at the age of 20 and following some awe inspiring performance at Crystal Palace he disappeared from from the public gaze. That was the last I heard of Dave Sweeney. On the shores of Loch Sween the local community put up a statue of Dave Sweeney.

Anyway, I happily paid $2.00 for the book (normal retail price 48.50). On reading the book, it became obvious that Dave Sweeney's journey through life and eventual enlightenment was a truly inspirational story for all the Scottish runners that have left their native shore. That night in Darwin as I lay reading the book, with a cyclone looming and amidst a tropical downpour, my life turned around. I now had a new mission in life, a role model, an absolute hero. In the face of adversity and against insurmountable odds, the Garmin Lama had reinvented himself. From amidst a plethora of ageing and burnt out runners who can only dream of former glory ...comes the Garmin Lama... Standing alone... a blinding light....a pure beam of hope from atop the Age Grade Lighthouse. The saviour for all floundering and struggling runners.

I moved to Brisbane to be closer to the Centre of the Universe for master runners. I have visited the shrine at North Lakes and was deeply moved by the experience. I was fortunate to go on a quiet day and was surprised not to be harassed by the usual array of street merchants selling memorabilia and trinkets. I left a very positive comment on Trip Advisor, so it now has 4 stars. ( also it's free which will appeal to the majority of Scottish pilgrims). I would rate it as better than a visit to Lourdes.

Just one other thing. Why are so many of you Aussie master runners so disrespectful of the Garmin Lama. Some of the comments border on heresy. I realise that there is a 'tall poppy syndrome' thing in Australia and a general disregard for authority...but you need to accept and recognised greatness.. The Garmin Lama is the embodiment of the runner we all want to be. His most recent victory in the mountains above Brisbane was undermined by comments made in regard to the winning some gold coin. Even 'holy' men have earthly needs, especially old runners.

I haven't met the Garmin Lama yet but as a fellow Scotsman, I am looking forward to the occasion. If Scotland votes to go independent, don't be surprised if the Garmin Lama is invited back as a Living Legend ( with the likes of Sean Connery) to be present on the first day of independence. He may even decided to stay which would be a great loss for Australia.

I eagerly await the next extraordinary feat from the Garmin Lama


David said...

G'Day Ian/Braveheart,
Welcome to my blog.
I loved your comments, very funny.
However I fear the Robot has given a bum steer on my ancestry - my first running club should provide the clue; London Irish A.C.
By way of parents from County Clare and County Roscommon.
Congratulations on your recent 90% age grading runs, with a little work you should passing Reevsie by the summer!

Braveheart said...

Hi David,
You possibly have a namesake that lives in Castle Sween and hence the confusion. I know that Castle Sween was built in the 12th century. The clan was displaced of its land after losing a famous battle and had to flee to Ireland. The original clan Mac Suibhne eventually settled in Ireland in Donegal and the name, over time, changed to Sweeney. Therefore there is a strong Scottish connection'

The Robot may know this and therefore regards you as a default Scotsman?

Anyway, I was born in Wishaw in Scotland. We had one famous runner, Ian Mc Cafferty who I remember, beat the famous Ron Clarke in a classic 5000 mt race.

I think that its remarkable that you can still run at the same high level as you did when you were young.

That guy you raced against in the two recent events, 'Anthony Craig' was up in Darwin in 2009 ( Arafura Games) and won the 1500, 5000 (not sure what else). I watched him race and he is a good strong runner. Considering he is many years younger than you,that only emphasis how good your performances are.

I have only made it into the 90% age category grade once on the track (that doesn't seem like much of a challenge to you?). BTW the Robot seems to have all the goods and looks pretty bullet proof.

I need to go now for my afternoon bowl of porridge