Ray’s long run is over

Central Leader - - News - By Scott Mor­gan

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.”

Photo: JA­SON DORDAY

Sorely missed: The late Ray Glasgow is ready to run at the start line of Round the Bays in 2007.

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