Barry Magee

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Barry Magee
Personal information
Birth name Arthur Barry Magee
Nationality  New Zealand
Born (1934-02-06) 6 February 1934 (age 81)
New Plymouth, New Zealand
Coached by Gil Edwards
Arthur Lydiard

Arthur Barry Magee, MNZM (born 6 February 1934 in New Plymouth, New Zealand), is a former New Zealand athlete who mainly competed in the marathon. He was a member of the Wesley Harrier Club and ran in Auckland harrier events in the 1960s in their colours.


He competed for New Zealand in the men's marathon at the 1960 Summer Olympics held in Rome, Italy, where he won the bronze medal. Four years later in Tokyo he placed 23rd place in the 10,000 metres, not making the Olympic Marathon team due to a stress fracture.

Magee was one of the large group of athletes that New Zealand coach Arthur Lydiard used to revolutionise how the world trained for all sports. At the 1960 Olympic Games Lydiard's pupils and Magee's training partners, Murray Halberg and Peter Snell won gold medals over 5000m and 800m within one hour. Magee's bronze in the marathon confirmed Lydiard's training methods.

Magee's run in Rome made him the fastest white marathon runner of all time to that moment. He went on to win many major international races, including Japan's prestigious Fukuoka Marathon. But Magee was much more than a marathon runner; he also ran the world's third fastest time over 3miles and fifth fastest 5000m at that time. He also recorded the world's fastest 10,000m and 2nd fastest 5000m for 1961 and was part of New Zealand's 4x1mile world record breaking relay team in 1961.

Magee always attributed his success to Lydiard, who had become something of a father figure after Magee's own father died in the same year that Lydiard started coaching him. After retiring from international competition Magee coached several top runners himself.

He is now a proud coach at Auckland City Athletics (ACA) coaching numerous N.Z. Champions

He lives in Auckland, New Zealand.

In the 2002 Queen's Birthday Honours, Magee was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to sport.[1]


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  New Zealand
1960 Fukuoka Marathon Fukuoka, Japan 1st Marathon 2:19:04


“Anyone can run 20 miles. It's the next six that count.” [2]

“Speed kills, distance doesn't”

“Train don't strain”

“Hills are the shortcut to success”

“There are horses for courses”

“The body can only do what the body is regularly accustomed to doing”

Here's one of Barry's favourites and it's one of his twelve commandments: "Go straight to bed after training when you're sick"


  1. ^ Queen's Birthday and Golden Jubilee Honours List 2002. Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
  2. ^ Barry Magee quotes

External links[edit]

Category:New Zealand athletics coaches