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The Nelson Photo News



Sportsman Of The Month

Harold Nelson

Running is highly recommended by the medical profession as a means of keeping fit and controlling waistline expansion during middle age, but for Harold Nelson, at 44, it is still the tough competitive sport in which he first engaged 30 years ago and which took him to the top in New Zealand and international athletics. In size, Harold Nelson is but a pigmy alongside some of New Zealand's great runners in recent years, but his heart and dedication to his chosen sport were giant-size, and these attributes brought their own rewards. He commenced his running while a pupil at Otago Boys' High School in 1938 and at 15 was the school's senior cross country champion. The next year he gained fourth place in the national junior mile - a race in which the first four runners broke the existing record. He gained the title next year and added to it the three-quarter mile and two and three mile records. During service in the Pacific with the R. N. Z. A. F. he competed in inter-unit meetings and won 15 of the 16 events in which he was entered At his first attempt after being invalided home in 1946, he won the national cross country title and followed this up with wins in the one and three mile invitation races in Sydney. In 1948 he was chosen to lead the New Zealand team to the London Olympics, but a leg injury prevented any real success. This was achieved in 1950 when at the Empire Games in Auckland he won a gold medal in the six miles and a silver medal in the three miles. The years have sped by, but they haven't left Harold behind. He proved this last Labour weekend when he competed in a marathon and finished the race.


Harold leads his family in a training run around Wakefield Quayat left is Grant (Nelson College junior cross country champion for the last two years), Joy (13th in national women's cross country last year), and Dean, (another keen runner).


Harold, in 1950, on his way to a gold medal in the Empire Games.


Crossing the line to win the mile invitation race at Sydney in 1947.


Three Nelsonians are in this team pic of the 1948 New Zealand Olympic team - Ngaire Lane, swimming (now Mrs Galloway), Nick Carter (cycling) and Harold (capt); the other members were Bob Goslin (boxing), left, "Dutch" Holland (second left), and "Pom" Crowe (extreme right).