Barry Magee

(1934 - )

Barry Magee
For all Barry Magee's achievements both as an athlete and as a coach, one event stands out: an event that he did not win.

It was a memorable night for New Zealand on September 10, 1960, when the marathon at the Olympic Games in Rome finished in darkness.

First down the Appian Way and under the Arch of Constantine was the remarkable Ethiopian, Abebe Bikila.

Next came a Moroccan of repute, Rhadi Ben Abdesselam. And then out of the night came a padding figure in black, Barry Magee, a 26-year-old Aucklander who came from the same Arthur Lydiard stable as two gold medallists from Rome, Peter Snell and Murray Halberg.

It was far from the start of Magee's career, and far from its end, but it was a moment of high achievement.

Magee also won the famed Fukuoka Marathon the same year in a record time.

Versatility rather than marathons were his hallmark: he was world-ranked at the same time over 5000 and 10,000 metres and the marathon and he was a member of the New Zealand team that set a world mile relay record in 1961.
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