Ray’s long run is over
HSBC Round the Bays has lost one of its biggest supporters.
Ray Glasgow, who ran the race 25 times since it began in 1972, died on May 15, just two weeks shy of his 96th birthday.
The father-of-six was the oldest competitor in the inaugural race, finishing in an impressive 29 minutes at the age of 59.
He was still jogging Round the Bays as late as last year and completed the most recent race in a wheelchair after suffering a broken leg earlier this year.
The only time he ever missed the annual fundraiser was when he travelled overseas.
Ray, who was legally blind for the last 15 years of his life, was well known for his sense of humour, attaching a “no overtaking” sign to his back during the 2008 race.
“It created a bit of banter and we had a bit of fun. So many people gave me an encouraging whack on the back,” he told the Central Leader in March.
“I just like being out there with the people.”
Even as he aged it wasn’t unusual for Ray to finish Round the Bays in under an hour. At 80 he notched up a time of 41 minutes over the 8.4km course, despite snapping his achilles tendon with 1km to go.
Before his death Ray wrote a book called Round the Bays, Just for Fun, which it is hoped will be released later this year.
Ray was an accomplished long distance runner, qualifying for the marathon at the Berlin Olympics in 1936, though he didn’t attend because of political tension between Britain and Germany.
Ray started his working life as a farmer in south Auckland, before retraining as a signwriter and later joining the AA. Daughter Joy Glasgow says her dad, whose last few years were spent in Ponsonby and surrounding suburbs, was a real character.
“He never lost his sense of curiosity, interest and fun.”
And despite a number of physical setbacks, which included being hit by a car on Jervois Rd five years ago, Ray just kept on going.
“He seemed to resurrect himself each time and would never complain,” says Joy.
“He used to walk up to 10km a day. People would look out for him and get him across intersections.
“I used to be up at the gym at Les Mills and would see my little dad walking along.”
Ray was farewelled yesterday by friends and family at a service at St Stephen’s Presbyterian Church in Ponsonby.
Suburban Newspapers editor-in-chief David Kemeys says Ray will be sorely missed.
“Ray’s jovial nature has become synonymous with Round the Bays since it first began. Many runners will remember having a bit of a chat with Ray during the race over the years.
“It will be sad not to see him lining up for another crack next year. He was a true legend.”
Sorely missed: The late Ray Glasgow is ready to run at the start line of Round the Bays in 2007.