Randolph Rose

(1901 - 1989)

Randolph Rose
Though he rarely competed internationally and never raced at Olympic or Empire Games, Randolph Rose could lay claim to being New Zealand’s best-known athlete in the 1920s.

A farm labourer in the Wairarapa, Rose fashioned himself an impressive record, including five Australasian titles — the mile (twice), three miles (twice) and cross-country — and eight national titles, including the three miles five times.

The most notable of his five New Zealand records was 4min 13.6sec for the mile set on a grass track in Masterton in 1926. The record stood until 1950.

Rose and the American Lloyd Hahn, the world record-holder for the indoor mile, met five times over a mile in 1926 and Rose won four of them — all before capacity crowds, among the biggest crowds to have watched athletics in New Zealand outside of Commonwealth Games.

Rose was unavailable for the Amsterdam Olympics in 1928 because of illness and illness also affected his only venture beyond Australia, a trip to Britain and France in 1926.
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