From: AthleticsWeekly, January 21, 2010
BOOK REVIEW: Story of the 1936 Olympic 1500m is revisited by New Zealand writer
CONQUERORS OF TIME
Lynn McConnell brings alive a golden era in middle-distance running that few people today were around to witness. Conquerors of Time is the story of the race to win the 1936 Olympic 1500m title – a classic confrontation won by Jack Lovelock of New Zealand.
The cast of athletes during the period was a who's who of milers. In addition to Lovelock, characters included: Glenn Cunningham, the world mile record holder from the United States; Luigi Beccali, the Italian who had won the 1932 Olympic 1500m gold; Jerry Cornes, the British runner-up in 1932; and Sydney Wooderson, the bespectacled hero of British athletics who would go on to break the world mile record in 1937.
McConnell's book charts the progress of these runners, plus others, from the 1932 Games in Los Angeles to the Berlin Olympics itself. It also looks at what happened to them after their athletics careers were over.
Such was the anticipation before the race in Berlin, the start was delayed slightly to allow Adolf Hitler to take his seat. The crowd was not disappointed either, as the race was won in style by Lovelock in a world record time.
This is a terrifically researched book and a glowing endorsement has also been given by former AW editor Mel Whatman, who recently reviewed the book in Athletics International and wrote: "Races at these distances are superbly reconstructed by Lynn McConnell, an award winning writer and editor from New Zealand who provides particularly acute insights into the career and personality of his compatriot thanks to reference to Lovelock's diaries.
"The other towering figures of that period are also well drawn and there is much for the enthusiast to savour in this 244-page paperback. It's a terrific, nostalgic story of the fascinating characters who contributed to an enchanting era in miling history."