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Legend set for appearance at his race

Marathon man: Ray Swan, one of Bermuda’s greatest distance runners, is expected to make an appearance at the event that honours him, the Ray Swan 8K, on Sunday

One of Bermuda’s greatest long-distance runners, Ray Swan, is expected to make an appearance at the road race that honours him on Sunday.

He will be a special guest at the Ray Swan 8K, which is run along North Shore Road from West Pembroke Primary School to Shelly Bay park in Hamilton Parish.

The occasion will be made extra special by the arrival of a good friend of Swan’s, US runner Jimmy Green, 85, who finished third in the Boston Marathon in 1960 and was trained by the highly-respected coach Jock Semple.

Four decades have passed since Swan, who is 80 this year, was at his competitive peak. He took up running in the 1970s, when he was in his thirties, and quickly established himself as one the island’s best. Coached by Clive Longe, he competed in the marathon at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, and the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton.

He won the Bermuda Day Half-Marathon Derby in 1978 and 1981, and was twice runner-up in the masters’ division at the Boston Marathon. His Bermuda national record for the marathon of 2hr 26min 37 sec has stood for 37 years. Chris Estwanik holds the Bermuda resident record of 2:19, set five years ago.

Swan is one of four island runners honoured by the Swan’s Running Club Legends Series, the others are Ed Sherlock and the late “Sir” Stanley Burgess and Ludwig Cann. The race series, in which athletes registered for the competition can accumulate points towards the final rankings, is now in its second year. Sunday’s race is the second in the series. The race is also open to competitors who are not doing the series.

• Entries for the Ray Swan 8K, which includes an event for walkers, can be made online at www.racedayworld.com