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Just got off the phone with Rod. John has 1500 PR of 3:43.2 and, as you know a member of NZ world XC team several times including the winning team in 75 (was it?). Has been NZXC champ but Rod couldn't remember if he ever been NZ champion on track. Interestingly, he has won Christchurch marathon and Canberra marathon (those US readers who don't know where Canberra is, it's in Australia). His best marathon time is somewhere around 2:16 and that was run not too far off from his hey days on track. He also went on to the masters championships in 85~86, around that time and won both 1500 (under 4-minute) and 5000 (under 15-minute). So yes, he was one heck of a runner.
What I admire about Rod is that he really stressed his brother's sacrificing his own running career to help Rod...even today. It was John who recognized his younger brother had perhaps better talent internationally and, he said, because it was very tough for NZ to send too many runners to Olympics and it was either they could race each other and kill themselves before the Big Games; or they could help each other and send one (with better talent) and do really well for the Dixons. Finally, Rod said that even though John was not quite recognized well, he should be at the ranks of Arch Jelley for how much he contributed to coaching. I told him that HRE started this conversation first from John Dixon the coach and we wondered his athletic career; so he was happy to hear that!
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