World Cross Country Championships Women’s Team


Cross Country


When the New Zealand women’s team headed overseas for the 1975 World Cross Country Championships in Rabat it was probably the greatest collection of female endurance runners the country had ever mustered for an international event – it was just that we did not know it at the time.

Apart from experienced 29-year-old skipper Heather Matthews, MBE, (then Thomson), who was to win 3000m silver at the 1978 Commonwealth Games; the four remaining squad members were teenagers all of whom were to go on to enjoy glorious careers.

This special group included Anne Audain, MBE, (then Garrett), who had finished ninth as a 17-year-old at the 1973 World Cross Country Championships and sixth in the 1500m at the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch. Aged only 19 at the time, she was on the cusp of a glittering career which would see the Aucklander later strike Commonwealth 3000m gold and carve out a reputation as one of the world’s leading road runners.

It also included ...