Saturday, February 04, 2006


Veteran's Long Walk

Sunburnt, a little tired and nursing a blistered heel, Sid Barber, 50, a South Australian athlete, walked into Melbourne on Monday and so finished his 596-mile walk from Adelaide. He was 13½ days on the road.

Barber attempted to make the journey in 11½ days but a blistered heel and strong head winds at certain stages of his walk robbed him of the chance. Although he is disappointed at his failure to do the journey in the time he set himself, Barber believes it is possible to make the trip with favourable weather. With the exception of four occasions, he slept under the stars, hedges being his only shelter. His staple food was a pound of chocolate a day and billies of tea.

It took 48 years before Barber's 11 day projection was realised and it was achieved by another well known South Australian walking identity, Jack Webber (C 2). Jack, then aged 64, set off from Melbourne on Wednesday 15 August 1979 and reached Adelaide on Saturday August 25. His performance set a new walk record for Melbourne to Adelaide with an epic 10 days 2 hours 30 mins. Jack regarded this as perhaps his greatest achievement and he had the privilege of
being accompanied by former Olympian Marjorie Jackson over the last few hundred metres - amid a great reception – to the Adelaide Town Hall.

Presumably Sid Barber's 13 days still remains the record for a walk from Adelaide to Melbourne.

Thanks to Tim Erickson of the Australian Centurions for being able to publish this article and the other article on Sid Barber

No comments: