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Stuart Hobbs RIP

Stuart Hobbs, an ex long time member of HAC, passed away on Sunday after a long on going illness.

I first met Stuart in the early 70’s when I joined the club. He was one of the nicest people that you could ever meet in life. He was an ex Civil Servant, who took early retirement in his 50’s. This was towards the end of his running days. Back when he was at his best, you could only describe his running ability as very average. But, what a trier!! He would be exhausted at the end of ever race. Giving 110% every time.

Back in the 80’s Stuart asked me if I would coach him and advise him on his training for the Taunton marathon. What he did not know was that the course was two laps, with along hill near the end of each lap. This obviously affected his final time. But as a person that had never broken the three hour barrier before, it was a big challenge. So, with a 13 week plan he set off with the target of getting a PB and under three hours for the first time. I explained to him at the time that he would never reach the target unless he achieved 95% of the the planned training. But Stu being Stu he upped everything and achieved 110%. In the 13 weeks run up to the race he broke every personal best from 5 miles to 20 miles in races. So he could not fail to go sub three hours?? But as ever there is not such a thing a perfect marathon. So as ever he set off with no confidence in his own ability. But on this day the weather was good and he was ready to get a good time. He went by 5,10,15 and 20 miles in personal best times. And then came the hill the second time around. Well after all the effort in the first 20 miles, when he was on for about 2.42, he inevitably started to slow and down and ended up with 2 hours 53 minutes. A great time and a great achievement.

He never got to these great heights again, but what a Person, Athlete and Gentleman.

He will be very missed by all that knew him.

Lee Benjamin