British ex-pat claims M70 world record for 5K in Thailand

What ever happened to Rayfel “Ray” Roseman? In the 1960s, he was one of the top milers in Britain. At age 30 in 1969, he ran a 3:59.8 at Motspur Park. Now comes word that Ray, a “tax exile” living in Thailand, ran a 5,000-meter track race in 18:11.4 in a Bangkok meet. This news comes from UK masters guru Pete Mulholland, who heard it from David Cocksedge in Thailand, another ex-pat. David wrote Pete: “Just how good is a 5000 metres time of 18:11.4 for a 70-year-old? Rayfel Roseman clocked this time in Bangkok last Sunday (18 October). Ray (who was born in Hounslow, West London on 19 May 1939) . . . has been resident in Thailand for over 15 years.”  If 18:11 is accurate, it smashes the listed M70 world record of 18:33.38 by Canada’s Ed Whitlock at 2001 Brisbane worlds. Pete says record paperwork is forthcoming.

David continued:

He is a member of Brighton & Hove AC and South London Harriers. His other PBs were 1:50.8 (800m); 3:41.7 (1500m), 8:04.6 (3000m); 14:17.4 (5000m) and 49:37 for 10 miles. Ray will soon be having surgery on his spine, but remains in good health otherwise; apart from naturally high blood pressure. He runs daily for 45 minutes on a treadmill with three 7-10km runs a week in Lumphini Park which is near his apartment in the Chitlom area of Bangkok. I’m thinking that this may well be an age record.

Ray was profiled last year under the headline “So . . .  who is Ray?”

Here’s what I found about Ray:

Rayfel Roseman is a former world class international athlete, now aged 69 and resident in Bangkok. Ray is a testament to his own advice, standing 1.84 metres tall and weighing just 64 kilogrammes.

In 1969 Ray became the oldest Briton till then to run a sub four-minute mile at 30 years and 2 months of age; and he ran it on a cinder track which does not exist anymore (the famous Motspur Park in Surrey where Blackheath solicitor Sydney Wooderson set world records in the 1930’s).

Roseman bettered the Olympic Qualifying standard for 1500 metres in 1964 and 1968; and raced alongside such luminaries as Gordon Pirie, Derek Ibbotson and Peter Snell of New Zealand (who won three Olympic gold medals at Rome in 1960 and Tokyo in 1964).

A severe tendon injury forced Ray out of competitive athletics in 1970 as he was preparing for the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh that year. Roseman runs on a treadmill for 45 minutes every day, and regularly monitors his blood pressure and heart rate.

Once a month, he may take part in a 10 kilometres road race, but does not consider himself to be competitive any longer. (“My racing days are long over”, he says).

Ray states that “Exercise alone is not going to get those kilos off. If you want to lose weight, you have to combine an exercise regime with a healthy diet, and I would recommend the following: Breakfast – Cereal or porridge, followed by one egg (boiled, scrambled or poached), plus an apple or orange three times per week.

Lunch – If you eat rice or potatoes, reduce your portions by half. Eat lean meat such as chicken or fish at least three times per week. Evening meal (dinner) – Eat a salad with vegetables and perhaps some brown bread. Cut out sugar-based foods such as ice cream, chocolates or sweets and keep away from all soft drinks.

I have found that Thai food contains a lot sugar (even in rice) and therefore I would recommend eating Japanese food, which is extremely healthy. “If you can cut sugar out of your daily diet, you will certainly lose weight rapidly. That includes sweeteners in your tea or coffee. If you are a ‘two lumps’ person, cut down to one lump for each drink, and aim to eventually take you tannin or caffeine fixes without a sweetener.

“With this diet plus regular exercise I found that I could lose 8 kilos in 8 weeks. For exercise, start easily by walking at a pace you can handle for 10 minutes per day, gradually increasing this to 15, then 20 and 30 minutes every day, and increase the pace of the walks as you get fitter. Instead of lounging by the swimming pool, get in the water and swim slowly up and down for 20 minutes or so.

For those of you who cannot swim, get on an exercise bike and work out: start at a very easy pace, keep that going for a while and then get faster as you feel stronger. Check you pulse after every session. Put a finger over a vein just above your wrist, count the beats for ten seconds, then multiply the number of beats by six (for 60 seconds).

As you get fitter, your heart rate will return to normal (60 beats per minute) quickly. If your pulse rate is still at around 120 beats/minute after 30 seconds, you are working too hard, and this is nature’s warning to stop. “Also take plenty of fluids when you exercise.

Top up with cold drinking water before and after working out. Alcohol dehydrates the body very rapidly, so it is important to replace those lost fluids before exercising. I would recommend that drinkers cut down on their alcohol consumption to say, once or twice a week if possible. “I repeat: exercise alone will not lose weight for the over forties.

If you have not exercised for years, it is very important to first get a check-up from your doctor, including blood pressure, and then devise a regular exercise regime. But always start slowly, taking on only what you can handle without too much stress. Gently does it, every time.

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October 25, 2009

3 Responses

  1. Anonymous - October 25, 2009

    Sounds like a very talented, inspirational fellow. Good luck on the back surgery.

  2. Ian Landless { from Seaford } - March 3, 2014

    Hi Ray,
    Passing the Hove lawns the other day I rembered the
    evenings we trained there and wondered what became of
    you.Was pleased to find via the internet that you are
    still running and doing well in your age catorgary.
    As a result of an achilles injury in 1974 I swiched to
    cycling which did not trouble it and am still riding
    to this day averaging 175 miles per week,although I
    gave up the competitive side 3 years ago. All the best
    hope you keep well and injury free.

  3. Kevin Hall (Horsey) - March 15, 2015


    Saw Len today as he and Jen are doing an Oz trip. Sir, thanks for your input to us brats at SLH in 60’s and I still gallop up a hill today as part of basic fitness and enjoyment. Yeppp miss those nights at Coulsdon training and after xc with tea and cake before taking off to Catford dogs with Chris France. All the best and hope stuff goes well for you…say hi to Mickie Quin. Cheers Kevin

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