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  • Writer's pictureGary Moller

On the Run Movie

Updated: Feb 16

Here is some motivating running nostalgia from the years when New Zealand was a running power house (released 1979).

I get a little teary-eyed whenever I watch this movie. Many of the runners who feature were competing at the same time when I was a wanna-be runner. They were my friends. They were my community. A few of them are no longer with us.

Such was the bountiful talent of those times, my biggest challenge was not to be lapped in a race, let alone end up coming last! The gun would go, we'd charge off and I'd wave them goodbye shortly thereafter.

While watching this movie, take note of the superbe physical development of the athletes. They are thin while also very strong with muscles in the right places, unlike many runners of today. We ate real food back then and plenty of it. We trained smart.

You will see that training was not all about grinding out endless miles. Training included running drills, Fartlek, intervals and lots of club runs and races, as well as long, steady running. Much of what Lydiard and other coaches of the time taught us is now long forgotten. The successful coaches, such as Lydiard, were the ones on the side of the track, stopwatch in hand, or striding out the long Sunday Runs with those athletes under his or her care.

By comparison, today's internet coach and exercise physiologist is missing in action and unable to teach the essentials of the art of running, beyond transmitting a complex training schedule and a list of recommended physiotherapists.

By the way, the opening scene of 'Cave Man' effortlessly bounding across the horizon like an antelope, club in hand, is my Victoria University Harrier Club team-mate, Gary Wilby. In addition to being a graceful and tireless runner, Gary was and still is the hairiest man on the planet, so he was perfect for this starring role! Actually, he's so hairy that I still do not know what he really looks like!


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