Cold doesn't end Ray's hot streak

RUNNING

January 25, 1994|By Michael Reeb | Michael Reeb,Staff Writer

Neither rain . . . nor sleet . . . nor hail . . .

That motto applied nicely to Bob Ray's tenure as a letter carrier with the U.S. Postal Service. But now in retirement, Ray amended that motto when the recent Arctic blast blew cold on his running streak.

Neither snow . . . nor ice . . . nor sub-zero temperatures . . .

To the surprise of few who have charted Ray's streak of running every day -- a streak that has reached 9,793 days and over 70,000 miles and is believed to be the longest streak alive -- Ray ran right through this month's spell of freezing temperatures, blustery conditions and frozen pavements.

"There's a small window there -- freezing, traffic and thawing -- when you can run," he says.

But Ray sounds no worse for wear, although his equipment took a pounding and his schedule some accommodating.

"I wore out a pair of my old spikes," says Ray, 56. "I keep them just for icy conditions, like we have had lately. I lost two [spikes] along the way. I hope someone with a car doesn't find them."

He also didn't get to work out with training partner Ray Lorden as much as he usually does.

On runable paths, Ray says, "There's barely room for one person; there's hardly room to run side by side."

His best advice?

Wear layered clothing and avoid sharp turns.

"Wear your Goretex and polypropylene and try to go out the best part of the day," Rays says. "Some of the surfaces are terrible to run on. The snowplows push all the snow up on the sidewalk and it's like running on a lava field.

"And you have to almost come to a stop before you make your turn. You can't make any sudden turns."

Through it all, Ray has maintained his mileage -- and his streak.

"As matter of fact," he says, "I'm a couple of miles ahead of what I wanted, what I was scheduled for."

Briefly

Prize money will be awarded for the first time in the 17th annual Last Train to Boston marathon at Edgewood area of Aberdeen Proving Ground, says race director Brad Roberts. For information on the March 5 race, which begins at 11 a.m., contact Roberts at (410) 638-1091.

Coming events

Friday, All-Comers Track Meet, Essex CC, 6 p.m., (410) 633-4710.

Saturday, BRRC Cross Country 5-miler, Oregon Ridge, 10 a.m., (410) 243-3153.

Sunday, BRRC Championship 10-Miler, Loch Raven, 9 a.m., (410) 243-3153.

Sunday, North Harford Loop 10K, North Harford High School, 9 a.m., (410) 836-1784.

Sunday, WRRC Bear Run Four-Miler, Pleasant Valley, noon, (410) 848-5423.

Sunday, HCS 2M, 10K, 15K, Jeffers Hill Neighborhood Center, 2 p.m., (410) 964-1998.

Feb. 6, MCRRC Country Road Run 8K, Olney, 8 a.m., (301) 353-0200.

Feb. 6, BRRC Cherry Pie 10M, Patterson Park, 9 a.m., (410) 243-3153.

Feb. 6, WRRC Treat Shop Eight-Mile Shuttle Relay, Westminster, noon, (410) 848-4562.

Feb. 6, HCS 2M, 10K, 15K, Longfellow Elementary School, 2 p.m., (410) 964-1998.

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