Athletics: Olympian Barry McGee remembers his fallen friend Sir Peter Snell

A runner who's probably done more miles with the late Sir Peter Snell than any other is Barry McGee.

McGee, an Olympic medallist in his own right having won bronze in the marathon at the 1960 games in Rome, is a former training partner of New Zealand's greatest distance runner. 

"We knew each other's blood pressure, we knew each other's pulse rate and we were like a family," McGee told Newshub. 

McGee remembers rooming with him at the Tokyo Olympics where Snell created history winning two gold medals in an hour. 

"I had the privilege of digging him out of bed every morning about 7 to 7.30, taking him for a thirty-minute jog around the village and so I contributed to those two gold medals."

Sir Peter Snell wins gold in 1964
Sir Peter Snell wins gold in 1964 Photo credit: Photosport

They travelled the world together, raced together, and trained together, running 160 kilometres a week around the streets of Auckland.

"Possibly very few middle-distance runners in the world even today do that, and they still can't run as fast as Snell."

Snell had tremendous conditioning but, McGee says it was Snell's confidence that was unrivalled.

"It's not normal or human, most of us go trembling, we're worried, not Snell, he went out there to win the race to beat the world to beat the times.

He'll remember him as a friend, a gentleman and a great, great man.