Barry Magee

Arthur Barry Magee MNZM (born 6 February 1934) is a retired New Zealand long-distance runner. He won a bronze medal in the marathon at the 1960 Olympics and in the 10,000 m event placed 26th at the 1960 and 23rd at the 1964 games. He withdrew from the 1964 Olympic marathon due to an injury.[1]

Barry Magee
Barry Magee 1960.jpg
Magee in 1960
Personal information
Birth nameArthur Barry Magee
Nationality New Zealand
Born (1934-02-06) 6 February 1934 (age 86)
New Plymouth, New Zealand
Height165 cm (5 ft 5 in)
Weight53 kg (117 lb)
Event(s)5000 m, 10,000 m, marathon
ClubThree Kings Athletic Club, Auckland
Coached byGil Edwards
Arthur Lydiard
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)5000 m – 13:39.2 (1961)
10,000 m – 28:50.8 (1961)
Marathon – 2:17:19 (1960)[1][2]


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 5000 m and 800 m within one hour. Magee's bronze in the marathon confirmed Lydiard's training methods. He went on to win many major international races, including the 1960 Fukuoka Marathon. But Magee was much more than a marathon runner; he also ran the world's third fastest time over 3 miles and fifth fastest 5000 m at that time. He also recorded the world's fastest 10,000 m and 2nd fastest 5000 m for 1961 and was part of New Zealand's 4 × 1 mile world record breaking relay team in 1961.[1]

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 and currently has a number of high achieving athletes under his wing, including former New Zealand cross country and mountain running champion Jonathan Jackson. Furthermore, many of his former athletes give him praise - referencing much of their success to the training that took place under his guidance at the BCG (Barry's Cricket Ground), Waitakeres (OTT/22 miler), and Lynfield (Lydiard's Hill Spring circuit).

In the 2002 Queen's Birthday Honours, Magee was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to sport.[3]

Honorific eponymEdit

Magee Place, in the Hamilton suburb of Chartwell, is named in Magee's honour.[4]


  • “Anyone can run 20 miles. It's the next six that count.” [5]
  • “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. ^ a b c Barry Magee.
  2. ^ Barry Magee.
  3. ^ Queen's Birthday and Golden Jubilee Honours List 2002. Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
  4. ^ "Honouring sportspeople". Waikato Times. 2 November 2012. p. 9.
  5. ^ Barry Magee quotes.

External linksEdit