Friday, 27 June 2008

Michael Gray completes the course at 73

Michael Gray pictured after completing the course at 72 last year with daughter Stephanie. He did it again this year at 73 (Photo:Paul Jackson)

Robbie Lambie wrote the following on the forum: " Can we now say with confidence now that Michael Gray is the oldest competitor in the history of the Parish Walk to have completed the 85 miles?

There has been some doubt, a grey area you might say (sorry) about who actually is the oldest. I think after Mike walked it last year, (along with his daughter Steph), he may well have been the oldest finisher but it wasn't certain. I think at 73 years of age this year, Mike may have put this uncertainty to rest.This year he walked it over 23 hours again with Stephanie. Stephanie told me earlier today, such was the weather and the miserable conditions, the pair of them hardly spoke to each other at all during the second half of the race, as they were both just concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other and just eager to get to the finish. Stephanie of course should take credit for walking with her father the last 2 years and helping to create a piece of history.

Stephanie and her mother Olga are great campaigners for the Breast Cancer Charity and have helped raise vast amounts of money over the years as a result. A great family indeed.Mike of course finished in the first Parish in 1961 finishing 5th in the days when they walked in trousers and ordinary shoes and had no real support cars to follow them. Some of them in those days had probably worked just prior to the race as well. They were tough in those days obviously."

The uncertainty arose because I haven't always had the ages of walkers and it was previously claimed that another walker had completed the course at the age of 73 which I don't think is correct.

PS Michael also has the record for the biggest gap between finishes - 46 years from 1961 to 2007.

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