Ray’s down but not out

Auckland City Harbour News - - Front Page - By Scott Mor­gan

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.”

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

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.

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