Jack Foster
Personal information
Born(1932-05-23)23 May 1932
Liverpool, England
Died5 June 2004(2004-06-05) (aged 72)
Rotorua, New Zealand

John Charles Foster (23 May 1932 – 5 June 2004) was a long-distance runner born in Liverpool, England. At first a cyclist, who didn't start running until he was 32,[1] he represented New Zealand in the men's marathon at two Summer Olympics at Munich, West Germany (1972) and Montreal, Canada (1976). He made the team for the 1975 International Cross Country Championships, where his country took the title.[1] A resident of Rotorua, he won the silver medal in the marathon at the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch with a master's world record time of 2:11:18.6 at the age of 41. Two years earlier, he had set a world record for 20 miles at 1:39:14.[2]

Foster is featured in the New Zealand short film "On the Run" about Arthur Lydiard influenced athletes. In the final scene, Foster shows the highlight of his training is a 3,000 foot run down a 45 degree scree hill.[3]

He was killed while riding his bicycle in Rotorua.[1]


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  New Zealand
1970 Commonwealth Games Edinburgh, Scotland 4th Marathon 2:14:44
Fukuoka Marathon Fukuoka, Japan 4th Marathon 2:12:17.8
1971 Fukuoka Marathon Fukuoka, Japan 3rd Marathon 2:13:42.4
1972 Olympic Games Munich, Germany 8th Marathon 2:16:56[4]
1973 Kyoto Marathon Kyoto, Japan 1st Marathon 2:14:53.4
1974 Commonwealth Games Christchurch, New Zealand 2nd Marathon 2:11:18.6 PR
1975 Honolulu Marathon Honolulu, Hawaii 1st Marathon 2:17:24
1976 Auckland Marathon Auckland, New Zealand 1st Marathon 2:16:27
Olympic Games Montréal, Canada 17th Marathon 2:17:53
1978 New York City Marathon New York City, United States 6th Marathon 2:17:28

Personal bests

Distance Time Place Date
25000 m 1:16:29 NR Hamilton 1971
30000 m 1:32:19 NR Hamilton 1971
Marathon 2:11.18.6 Christchurch 1974


  1. ^ a b c Phil Taylor (11 June 2004). "Obituary: Jack Foster". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  2. ^ Robinson, Roger (September 2004). "Jack Foster: 1932-2004". Running Times Magazine.
  3. ^ "On the Run | Short Film". NZ On Screen. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  4. ^ David E. Martin, Roger W. H. Gynn (2000). The Olympic marathon. Human Kinetics. p. 477. ISBN 978-0-88011-969-6. Foster Munich marathon.
Awards Preceded byRod Dixon Lonsdale Cup of the New Zealand Olympic Committee 1973 Succeeded byDick Tayler