Lasting the Distance
Memoirs of John Gilmour - World Champion Runner
by P.D. Collier
ISBN 978-0-85905-494-2, (new 2010), illustrated, 179pp, 305grams
$30.00 + POST
Lasting the Distance was written as a permanent record of the remarkably long and distinguished athletic career of John Gilmour, one of Australia's greatest runners. It documents his life from the humble beginnings of a primitive existence in a group settlement in the South-West of Western Australia, to his days as a youngster finding his feet on the local athletic scene, through to the hardships and near blindness he suffered as a prisoner of war.
Having returned to civilian life in 1945, John recounts his post-war experiences as he determinedly set about rebuilding his life and resurrecting his athletic career. State selection as a cross-country representative soon followed before success as an innovative and dedicated coach. Content in sporting retirement, John's life took an unexpected turn in 1971 when he began his stunning career in international veterans athletics. John's anecdotes help to bring to life the characters he raced against on the local, national and international stage.
John's story strives to illustrate that age is no barrier to success with his running performances being testament to this. At the ripe old age of 91, John generously shares with you the secrets of his success that enabled him to enjoy an amazing competitive athletic career spanning 67 years. His inspirational ability to overcome adversity to succeed in athletics despite a significant visual impairment, a ravaged body, discrimination, the ageing process and other hardships, is a constant source of admiration to us all.
As Robert de Castella so aptly wrote of John Gilmour in the book's foreword '... this book celebrates his achievements and gives us an opportunity to understand how champions can be ordinary people doing the extraordinary.'