Howard Ward up and running!
Despite experiencing a nightmarish near-death collision in February that left him with multiple rib fractures and a collapsed lung, Howard Ward is up and running – literally.
The energetic 63-year-old businessman has been beating the pavement for several weeks now as he gears up to participate in his favourite marathon, the MoBay City Run on May 10, delivering on a promise he made to himself from his hospital bed.
“I am coming to run MoBay City Run. It is on my mind. I am not coming to win, but it is a test of determination and drive,” Ward told The Gleaner during a dry run in Ironshore last week.
It was a Monday morning in February while on his way from the gym that a dump truck heading towards Montego Bay from the Rose Hall area careened across the guard rails protecting the new ‘Welcome to Montego Bay’ and sign hit his car, spinning it several times before trapping him inside.
When Ward arrived at the Hospiten Monetgo Bay hospital with eight broken ribs, two of which had been broken in two places, and a lung that had collapsed twice, he was forced to do two surgeries in two weeks.
“I went back to the hospital about a month after, and they were amazed to see me walking. ‘Mr Hard to Die’ – that was what the doctor called me,” he said, bursting out in his characteristic laugher.
Within a month, he was back on the road running, a feat he says was achieved by his determination and the drive to stay fit. “It is also part of the recovery process,” he explained, quickly pointing out that this was always his style – to push himself.
“It’s not just to run; it’s a lifestyle, and MoBay City Run has been so good, and the success that is being brought to it by the organisers inspires me to continue to support the event,” he said.
For the accomplished businessman gearing up for MoBay City Run, has always been a huge source of fun for himself and his gym colleagues.
“MoBay City Run in the gym is a big wager. We wage – we don’t really bet money but bet on who is gonna beat who and all that. It is a big inspiration, but this time, I can’t wager with them because they are going to be ahead of me. But I am going to run the 5k; it might take me a little bit longer,” he explained.
He generally runs the 5k in 29 or 30 minutes but suspects it will take him 40 minutes this time around. “But timing is not even an issue. It is all about participating, and I might even help in getting more people to be motivated to join,” he added.
At age 63, even a 30-minute 5k is a big motivation, the running enthusiast said.
The 10k/5k Run and walk, which has donated nearly $20 million towards education in the last five years, is being staged at the Old Hospital Park on Sunday, May 5, at 6 a.m.