Ray’s down but not out
A BROKEN leg won’t stop 95-year-old Ray Glasgow from joining thousands of other Aucklanders in taking part in HSBC Round the Bays this Sunday.
The Ponsonby resident, who suffered the break after a fall earlier this year, will complete the 8.4km race around Auckland’s waterfront in a wheelchair with help from family members.
“I’ve been smashed up a bit but it couldn’t keep me down,” he says.
“I just like being out there with the people.”
He’s completed the race 25 times since it started in 1972, only missing out when he’s been overseas.
If last year’s numbers are anything to go by, Ray will be joined by up to 70,000 other runners and walkers for the annual event, which is organised by Fairfax Media, publishers of this newspaper.
Up until last year Ray, who is legally blind, was still jogging around the course complete with a “no overtaking” sign on his back.
“It created a bit of banter and we had a bit of fun. So many people gave me an encouraging whack on the back.”
During the first Round the Bays, the father-of-six was the oldest competitor to take part in the race at the age of 59 and finished the course in 29 minutes.
It’s not surprising considering he qualified for the marathon at the Berlin Olympics in 1936, though he didn’t end up travelling to the games.
“Dad wouldn’t let me go because of Hitler,” he says.
At 80, Ray completed the race despite snapping his achilles tendon less than a kilometre from the finish line.
“I limped to the finish in 41 minutes,” he says.
“As I crossed the finish line little girls were saying: ‘Mummy look at that man, he’s hurt’.”
Being hit by a car on Jervois Rd five years ago was also a setback for the greatgranddad, but he was back doing the race the following March.
After so many memorable moments Ray is putting together a book called Round the Bays, Just for Fun, which will be released later this year.
It tells the tale of his experiences during the 25 races he’s done, along with other interesting events in his life.
Suburban Newspapers editor-in-chief David Kemeys says Ray is an inspiration to everyone taking part in the race.
“It’s fantastic to see how determined he is to take part in Round the Bays, broken bones and all.
“It’s wonderful to see him taking part year after year and we hope others will follow his fine example.”
And it’s no surprise Ray plans on being back for another go at the event next year.
“I might be on foot again by then. I’m a fast walker.”
Wheel determination: He might be recovering from a broken leg, but 95-year-old Ray Glasgow is still set to take part in HSBC Round the Bays in a wheelchair.