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Bev Shingles was one of New Zealand’s top women’s distance runners for two decades.
She represented New Zealand on the track, road (marathon) and in cross-country racing and was the first New Zealand woman to win national titles in all three disciplines.
In 1971 Bev won the 1500m and was runner-up over 800m at the trans-Tasman track meeting in Sydney and was a member of the NZ team that finished second in the world cross country championships in Spain, placing eighth in the individual race. She was in the winning NZ women’s team in Belgium and London on the European tour.
In international marathons Bev was runner-up in the 1976 Avon Australian race, 11th in the 1978 Atlanta race, runner-up in Sydney in 1981, fourth in Tokyo and ninth in a field of 680 in Ottawa (Canada) the same year, and was in the NZ champion women’s team in the London marathon in 1982, placing fourth overall
One of her finest efforts was winning the 20th Century Fox international marathon in Los Angeles in 1979, the then 39-year-old mother of two winning by a minute from a strong field of more than 50 runners from nine countries over the same course used for the 1932 Olympic Games. She also finished runner-up in a 10,000m international road race in Santa Monica.
Bev won NZ titles on the track (1500m in 1971), in cross-country (1972) and in the marathon (1980).
She won a world cross-country team trial in 1971 and the 1500m race at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games trial after being runner-up over 800m and 1500m in the 1969 Commonwealth Games trials and she raced in the track 3000m at the 1975 NZ Games.
Bev won two Rotorua women’s marathons (1976 and 1979), the Hamilton international race in 1977, the Christchurch marathon in 1980 and the Taumarunui marathon in 1981, the same year that she won three titles (5000m, 10,000m and the 10km road race) at the world masters athletic championships in Christchurch. Her 1976 time, in her first marathon, was a New Zealand record by 30m 47s and was the seventh fastest time in the world.
She has won the Wanganui Sportsperson the Year title twice (1971 and 1980), was awarded an Athletics New Zealand long service medal in 1992,and is a life member of the Wanganui Harrier Club.