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Clips (2)

  1. The first of two parts from this full length documentary.

  2. The second of two parts from this full length documentary.


This NFU classic tells Peter Snell's story up to just prior to his triumph at the Tokyo Olympics (he had already won 800m gold in Rome and held the world record for the mile). Snell's commentary — focused, candid — plays over footage of training and racing. "It always gives a feeling of exhilaration to run in the New Zealand all black singlet." He offers insight into the methods of coach Arthur Lydiard (15 miles a day, 100 miles a week). Includes priceless footage of Snell running in the Waiatarua hills, through bush and leaping farm fences. 

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Comments (14)

 Doug Carroll

Doug Carroll

After 53 yrs I happened to be browsing Peter Snell and found the Coliseum race. I was the rabbit who was called up that morning by Chuck Coker to pace the race for two laps. The principle of my school in Delano Ca. let me go and it was a rush to Bakersfield, plane to LA, transportation, to the hotel ,and then the wait for the bus to the LA Coliseum. The week before I had run a good 1320 race which was the reason I was called to pace Peter. I had never seen any film so was quite elated when I saw the video. As was mentioned earlier and after meeting him in the hospitality room in the hotel ,I found him to be a courteous quiet gentleman who was fitting to be a representative of his country as well as an Olympic Champion. Years later, I ran into him at a race in Sacramento where a relay of three would individually run, bike or kayak. He and I were kayaking and when I mentioned that I had paced him he smiled and mentioned that he remembered the race. At the time he was a student at UCD working on his PHD. A gentleman all around and I am glad to have had the experience of meeting him.



Awesome story of Peter Snell! I'm also glad to see that Arthur Lydiard mentioned.

 faye morrison

faye morrison

wow so proud to be a kiwi. we prove over and again what great athletes we are for a little country.

 ross eathorne

ross eathorne | website

Barefoot running is in vogue again. I took a Pose running course the other week and the main message is further you fall forward the faster you run. The second message is run with a forefoot strike and with minimal shoes. Watch at 6:38 at what type of shoes Peter puts on and the beautiful running silhouette across a hilltop.

 chris simpson

chris simpson

SSOOOOO OASUM!!! that im related to this guy no..legend! he is my dads uncles cousin!! iv also met bill bailey!

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Collections.   See all collections ›  

Included in:

 National Film Unit Collection
 Kiwi Ingenuity
 Black Gold
 All-Time Top 20 Greatest Hits


I was almost horrified at the pace of it actually, it was far too fast, far faster than I really wanted to do. 
We are very fortunate in Auckland to have so many native bush tracks quite handy to the city. And I find it is a very pleasant departure to the monotony of running on road surfaces. 
In true New Zealand tradition he played rugby and was a member of the school's 1st XV — this didn't stop him playing the occasional game of hockey.