Author(s): David Colquhoun
In the 1930s the New Zealander Jack Lovelock was one of the world's best-known athletes. In 1933 he broke the world record for the mile. At the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games he won a gold medal and broke the world record for the 1500 metres. When he retired, a leading sports writer lamented the end of a golden age of mile racing. Throughout his running career Lovelock kept journals and diaries. While much has been written about Lovelock, until now his journals and diaries have never been published. As If Running on Air reproduces his journals from late 1931 to the end of 1935 and extracts from his 1936 training diary. An entry appears for every race. Collectively they constitute a unique record of a sporting life in the 1930s and offer insights into just what it took to make a world champion. First published August 2008.
David Colquhoun is Curator of Manuscripts at the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington, where the Lovelock manuscripts are held. In 2000 he curated the exhibition Come on, Jack! The Lovelock Olympic Story, at the National Library Gallery.