Lorraine is a 4-time Olympian, Olympic bronze medalist, world track and field finalist, multiple Commonwealth Games track medalist, and winner of 16 major international marathons, including the Boston Marathon. She holds the distinction of being the only woman to have run all of the 20th century Olympic marathons for women.
Her career started out as an exceptional 14 year old middle distance runner, coached by Lydiard protégé and 1964 Olympic 1500m bronze medalist, John Davies. Always adhering to Lydiard training, Lorraine wound up a 28-year stellar career as an undefeated masters runner at her 4th Olympic Games at the age of 41, having performed with international distinction in events from 400 meters to cross-country to the 50K. Lorraine’s wide range of accomplishments earned her the accolade from Sir Peter Snell as “New Zealand’s greatest women’s distance runner”.
Lorraine made her foray into the marathon in 1979 under the tutelage of American Olympian Ron Daws in 1979, another Lydiard advocate.
During her Olympic years Lorraine trained under the guidance of 1976 5000m silver medalist and Lydiard coach, Dick Quax. She credits her high performance longevity, range and mostly injury-free career to Lydiard training and her fine coaches, coupled with her philosophical approach to competition which she describes as ‘an inside-out process’.
Alongside her running achievements, Lorraine was a forerunner for equality in women’s athletics, an activist for professionalism in distance running, and an accomplished writer and keynote speaker.
Since retiring from competitive sport in 1996 at the Atlanta Olympics, Lorraine co-founded the Lydiard Foundation for educating coaches and athletes in the art of endurance training and peaking along with her partner in the Foundation, Nobuya Hashizume.
Her autobiography “On the Wings of Mercury”, published in 2008, was launched by New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Helen Clark, and became #2 on the New Zealand Best Seller List.
Lorraine is dedicated to teaching Lydiard training to runners and coaches as she believes that it is a system that empowers runners with the tools to understand how to train in a regenerative way that promotes joy in running and excellence in performance.