Jack Foster


23 May 1932


Road Racing
Cross Country



Photos courtesy of Tim Chamberlain 

Jack (John Charles) Foster was 32-years-old when he went for his first run. He became one of the world’s best marathon runners in a vintage era and a global legend in the history of masters running. He twice broke the New Zealand marathon record, set a world track record for 20 miles, was twice an Olympian and gained the highest ever New Zealand place (second) in the Commonwealth Games men’s marathon. At 38, he placed third in the Fukuoka Marathon (effectively the world championship at that time), at 40 he was eighth in the Olympics, at 41 he ran a 2:11:18 world over-40 masters record that lasted for sixteen years, at 42 he won Los Angeles, and Honolulu at 43, and at 50 he ran yet another extraordinary world age-group record with 2:20:28. 

Universally liked for his modesty, pragmatic wisdom and quiet good humour, Foster retained a childlike exhilaration in his running that is captured in the short documentary ‘On ...