Skip to Main Content

Euan Robertson (1959-1966)

Euan Robertson (1959-1966) was a notable New Zealand distance runner in the 1970s.

Euan attended Scots for eight years as a boarder from Eastbourne. He was a member of both the choir and the Pipe Band, appeared in College productions, and was a Gibb House prefect. Initially, Euan played rugby; however, he gave this up for cross country running with the Wellington Harrier Club.

Competing in the heyday of middle-distance running in New Zealand, Euan first came to prominence at a provincial level in 1964, when he competed in the Intermediate Inter-collegiate Cross Country, placing first. Known to clock up over 100 miles (160 km) around the Miramar Peninsula each week, Euan showed great promise and dedication early on with many wins over the course of 1966.

After College, Euan attended Massey University, where he gained a degree in agricultural soil science. He was a soil conservator for the Ministry of Works from 1973, then transferred to Cambridge and Auckland, where he gained an MBA degree.

Euan competed in both the 1974 and 1978 Commonwealth Games, gaining a sixth placing in the 3000m steeplechase at the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics, where he also set a New Zealand record of 8 minutes 21.08 seconds. He later won New Zealand senior titles in the 5000m, 10,000m and 3000m steeplechase and cross-country and represented New Zealand at the World Cross Country Championships on a number of occasions. In 1975, he finished 5th, one place behind Olympic champion Sir John Walker, as part of the New Zealand Cross-Country Team.

In all, he competed for his country at seven World Cross Country Championships between 1969 and 1983, winning the New Zealand title in 1980 – a moment he regarded as the highlight of his career.

Robertson later managed and coached New Zealand cross-country and track teams. He married Charlotte in 1973; they had four sons.

A young man in his prime, Euan passed away at the age of 47 doing what he loved best, running cross-country with a group of young athletes over sand dunes at Bethells Beach near Auckland.