Snell plans surgical strike, enters Kiwi road mile
Three months ago, Running Fitness masters editor Pete Mulholland created an international stir by suggesting that Olympic god Peter Snell was making a masters comeback. Turns out it was a false alarm – with Snell committed only to an orienteering event at the New Zealand Masters Games in February. Now the false alarm has been rendered inoperative with news that Dr. Snell is entering a road mile associated with the Masters Games.
The New Zealand Herald reports:
Snell sizes up another mile challenge
Athletics legend Peter Snell has confirmed his entry for the New Zealand Masters Games in Dunedin in February.
The United States-based Snell has entered his name for the Masters Mile down Dunedin’s George St on February 6.
“It is very much a fun event for everyone,” Games manager Aaron Joy said today.
“We are opening it up to everybody who has entered in the Games. They can run it, hop it, jump it or walk it.
“The aim is to make it as much fun as possible and as colourful as possible. It will also be a great opportunity for all Games entrants to cover a mile in the company of our greatest ever miler.”
Snell won the Olympic Games 800m gold medal in Rome in 1960 then completed an historic 800m-1500m double at Tokyo four years later.
The 66-year-old legend will also compete in the orienteering event at the Masters Games.
The news from New Zealand Press Agency is echoed elsewhere.
A Stuff site reports:
Snell to run at masters games
14 December 2005
Olympic great Peter Snell will race a street mile in Dunedin in February – 43 years after his sub-four minute mile at the Royal meeting in 1963.
Snell has entered for the Chatsford Masters Mile down George St on Waitangi Day, February 6.
The Dunedin public will have the chance to watch, and entrants in the Masters Games will be able to join in the run with Snell.
The race from George Street Normal School to the Meridian Mall will be only the second time that Snell has raced in the city.
In 1963, a capacity crowd of 10,000 spectators crammed into the old Caledonian Ground to join the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to watch Snell in his heyday.
Aaron Joy, the manager of the ACC Thinksafe New Zealand Masters Games, confirmed Snell’s entry yesterday.
It will be the first time Snell (67) has raced in Dunedin since running Dunedin’s first sub-four minute mile at the old Caledonian Ground.
Snell and the late John Davies both broke the 4min barrier; Snell ran 3min 58.6sec and Davies 3min 58.8sec.
Experienced Athletics Otago administrator Les Bradshaw was the meeting referee that day.
The all-weather track had been officially opened in 1962 and was the best in the country at the time. This was the biggest meeting held at the ground.
Bradshaw recalled that Snell was suffering from a cold after racing in the United States and was not at his best.
He pushed himself all the way to get the fast time.
“Peter was very sick before the race and threw up after he finished,” Bradshaw said.
Snell was named New Zealand’s Athlete of the 20th Century for his triple Olympic gold medals at Rome in 1960 and Tokyo in 1964.
The Lydiard-trained athlete is one of the great athletes of all time. He still holds the New Zealand 800m record at 1min 44.3sec, which he ran in 1962.
It will be a more relaxed race next year and Snell is not expected to break the 4min barrier.
“It is very much a fun event for everyone,” Joy said.
“We are opening it up to everybody who has entered in the games – they can run it, hop it, jump it or walk it.
“It will be a great opportunity for all games entrants to cover a mile in the company of our greatest ever miler.”
And Radio New Zealand confirms:
There’ll be a return of sorts to the mile for New Zealand’s Athlete of Century and triple Olympic gold medallist Peter Snell when he competes in February’s New Zealand Masters Games in Dunedin.
Snell — who won gold in the 800 metres at Rome in 1960 then completed his historic 800-1500 double at Tokyo in 1964 — has entered the Chatsford Masters Mile — a fun run down George St on Waitangi Day.
Snell — who lives in Texas — has also entered the orienteering on the Saturday and Sunday before the mile.
Can we get excited now? Or should we forgo hyperventilating given the previous false start? In any case, thanks to Ross Dunton whose “Masters Track & Field News” brought this juicy tidbit to our attention.