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  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 (13)



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!

 Jim Healey

Jim Healey

I had the good fortune of meeting Peter Snell and his wonderful wife when they graciously came to Eugene from Dallas to appear at the Legends Mile which I had arranged as part of the Oregon coaching staff in 1987. My passion for track ignited in 1962 when I would watch Dyrol Burleson and dream of him out kicking Snell--never happened. While sore legs prevented Peter from participating in the Legends Mile with Ryun, Lindgren, Shule and others, he happily ran with the contestants the following day in a celebrity 5K. As luck would have it, a friend of mine shot a perfect picture of my 11-year-old son, Ryan, flying past Snell as they approached the finish. It took 25 years, but Peter Snell got out kicked--and it was by my son. WOW!! The blown-up picture of that moment, inscribed by Peter, continues to hang on the wall just above my desk. That little race is a super memory for my son and me, but I remain more impressed with the kindness of Peter Snell and his gentle and generous nature.

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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.