The annual International Cross-Country Championship was a British, European, and North African affair when New Zealand first lodged a wildcard entry in 1965. By 1973, when it became the World Championship, New Zealand was established as one of the major forces in the global sport of cross-country. That national progress in eight years from unknown outsider to world leader owes much to a self-effacing Wellington runner, Bryan Rose.
Rose was in the first New Zealand team to travel, to Ostend in 1965, and was fifth New Zealand scorer. He stayed in the scoring six in each of the teams that placed between fourth and second in the four subsequent (alternating) years, in Wales, Scotland, Spain, and Belgium, a record of remarkable consistency. His lowest place in that blazing cauldron of competition was 39th . His best was when he won the individual bronze medal in 1967.
Rose captained the team from 1969 to 1975. And that year, in his last international race, ...