My first Legend of The Ladder is early morning regular, Greg Williams.
Greg started on the ladder in the early eighties. Since then he’s racked up an estimated ninety thousand laps over the course of thirty years.
Now in his early sixties Greg is an early morning regular and usually starts his first lap before 5am. On most days he completes 8 laps plus a couple of laps of Mount Street and a pile of sit-ups. On Sunday’s he knocks out twenty before downing a well-deserved coffee and then heading to the beach for a surf.
Greg has a track record of athletic performance at the elite level. He’s finished the City to Surf in 43 minutes and, before a bad knee injury slowed him down, completed 23 laps of Jacob’s in an hour. By any stretch of the imagination that makes him a super athlete.
A champion squash player, Greg has played against legends Dean Williams (no relation) and Geoff Hunt. While working as a teacher in Geraldton Greg won the Sportsman of The Year Award for his performance on the court. By his own admission he was never the most skilled player but relied on his superior fitness, much of which he achieved on Jacob’s Ladder. He won the Australian Masters Squash championship in 1985/6 and 1989.
Along with his good friend, Tony Beard (another Legend of the Ladder), Greg was a regular participant in the annual Heart Foundation “Climb to the Top” challenge. For each of the years between 2003-07 Greg won – against all comers and all ages – the individual award for the most number of steps climbed. On average there were 10,000 entrants each year.
Greg’s style is unique. He’s one of the few ladder regulars who climb three steps at a time. It allows him to work with a slower cadence but increases the distance he covers with each step. What often goes unnoticed is his downhill speed. When he’s not talking to one of his growing entourage of friends he descends comfortably running two steps at a time. That reduces his lap times significantly and makes him one of the quickest on the ladder.
Greg’s one of the most well-regarded and a well-liked athletes on Jacob’s Ladder. He’s a maths teacher at PLC and was actively involved with education watchdog PLATO (People Lobbying Against Teaching Outcomes) lobbying successfully against the introduction of outcomes based education in Western Australia.
Greg takes great pride in the achievements – athletic, scholastic and otherwise – of his 7 children and of his wife Kerry. And it’s these achievements he cheerfully recounts to his many Jacob’s Ladder friends.
Anyway you count it Greg Williams deserves his place as a Legend of Jacob’s Ladder.