Allison Roe

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Allison Roe, MBE

Long-distance runner Allison Roe burst onto the world athletics stage in 1981 when she won both the Boston and New York marathons in record times. But this success was the culmination of years of intensive training and competing in athletics at a high level.

As a girl, she had been involved in cross-country running and was inspired by meeting Olympic gold medallist Peter Snell. She won the national title in 1975 and represented New Zealand internationally at cross country. She continued to race in international cross country before tackling the marathon circuit, with great success.

Sadly, a fall and injury meant Roe could not compete when women's marathon became an event at the 1984 Olympics. However, her international success meant she was in demand for sports promotions and product endorsements and she also had a career as a television sports commentator.

Roe established her own sports event promotion and television production company and has been active in local body politics and on the District Health Board in Auckland's North Shore.

She competes in mountain biking and won gold at the World Masters Games in her age bracket, in 2017. In 2018, she was inducted into the New York Road Runners Hall of Fame.

In this "Trailblazers" profile of her (recorded for commercial radio sports programming to mark the 1993 Suffrage centenary), you can hear coverage of her New York marathon win in 1981.

Read more about Allison Roe:

On the NZ History website

On her own website

Image: Allison Roe with running guru Sri Chinmoy, 1980 [CC-BY-SA-4.0 via Wikimedia Commons].

Catalogue Reference 15543

Year 1993


Trailblazers, RNZ Sport

Excerpt: 00:01:06

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