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He first started competing three days before his retirement at 57.
Now 91, Bruce has accomplished another heart-racing, adrenaline-fuelled feat – bungy jumping.
Bruce became the oldest person to complete the 35m bungy jump off the Waiau Ferry Bridge near Hanmer on February 14.
In spite of being legally blind and having hearing aids, he decided to take up the challenge as it seemed like an exciting thing to do.
He tried not to think any further, then committed to it and jumped.
Bruce was always an avid tramper and deer stalker growing up, but decided to give more thrilling, hair-raising activities a try later in life.
It was seeing his friend and neighbour Mike White competing in the Coast to Coast in 1985 that inspired Bruce to sign up the following year.
“It’s better than gardening,” he chuckled.
At 66, Bruce was convinced by another of his daughters – adventure fiend Debbie – to join her in the Scottish race. They arrived in London and then biked to Glasgow for the start of the race. Debbie called this “training.” He said the Scotland event was “a piece of cake.”
It was three days compared to the two-day Kiwi event.
Bruce has been an inspiration to his family.
His son Allan has competed in the Coast to Coast several times.
When Bruce was 64, he joined his 16-year-old grandson Jesse in a team and they completed the event together.
Although Bruce said he was always frightened of water, kayaking was his favourite part of the race.
“I’m not a particularly good swimmer but I was pretty sure if I came out, I’d be able to make it to the side,” he said.
“In a kayak, you’re just sitting there really and are going with the water. It’s easier.”
Bruce said the best part of the race was all about the people.
For Bruce and many other competitors, the race was all about giving it a go and finishing.
“The top 10 per cent are going to give their all and try to win, but the other 90 per cent are in the race for the social side where the aim is to finish,” he said.
There was great camaraderie during the race and Bruce made many friends.
He has since survived bowel cancer, but he is not retiring from life yet.
His daughter, Annie Horgan, was there to witness his cavort into the air.
“He comes up with the ideas and I organise it,” she said.
“He’s amazing, such an inspiration. I say, “I’m too old, I can’t do that,” and then Dad goes and proves me wrong.”
Earlier in the year, Bruce went down the zipline at the adventure park. He is tentatively talking about skydiving now.
Bruce said: “Just do what you can while you can.”
Sarah Leishman works at Hamner Springs Attractions. She was very impressed with Bruce’s jump.
“It is such a cool statement to make at 91. He proved that you are never too old to do something,” she said.
“He has gone and proven everyone wrong who uses age as an excuse.”