Running ambassador Power maintained lifetime dedication

ATHLETICS 

One of Australia's finest distance athletes, Dave Power, passed away on Sunday, aged 85.

Born in Maitland on July 14, 1928, Power was based in Wollongong for his entire top-flight athletic career, which included two Olympic Games appearances and two Commonwealth Games.

Power competed predominantly in the 10,000 metres during his career, competing at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and winning bronze in the event at the 1960 Olympics in Rome.

Power was captain of the Australian athletics team at the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, Wales, where he won gold in the 10,000m and, in an incredible feat of endurance, backed it up with gold in the marathon days later.

Power collected two silver medals in the same events at the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth.

On the national front, Power bagged 10 national titles in the 5000m and 10,000m disciplines.

He also won two national cross-country titles in 1954 and 1955.

Regarded as one of the toughest distance runners Australia has produced, Power was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1999.

His daughter Jenny Barlow said his passion for running and the wider Olympic movement never left him, inspiring him to help found the Kembla Joggers and, after moving to Queensland, the Noosa Triathlon.

"He was a bit obsessed. Either that or it was just a way of getting out of the house with five daughters," she joked.

Whilst proud of his own successes, Jenny said her father took particular pride in mentoring younger athletes and remained a dedicated ambassador for the sport.

"He just loved his running."

He ran every day right up until he was 70 and enjoyed the camaraderie with the fellow Olympians, she said.

Power is survived by his wife of 60 years, Heather, and five daughters Sue, Deb, Jo, Jenny and Liz.

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