Among the 100-plus people who turned up to honour the late Sir Peter Snell at Cooks Gardens was perhaps his biggest, and arguably oldest, admirer.
Nada Cairncross, 98, was among those who participated in Monday evening's tribute walk, with friend Helen Carse pushing her around the 400m track in a wheelchair.
Monday's tribute walk for Snell took place on the 58th anniversary of his mile world record-breaking time of 3mins 54.4secs at Cooks Gardens. Snell died in the United States in December last year.
Cairncross, who was born in Whanganui and has always lived here , followed Snell's storied athletic career very closely.
Carse said Cairncross had seen Snell run both in New Zealand and abroad.
"She is quite wrapped up in it. Hanging onto all the newspaper articles about him and what not."
Cairncross travelled to the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome and 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, being present when Snell won three Olympic golds.
But there was one race she remembered more than the most.
When asked about Snell breaking the world mile record at Cooks Gardens, her eyes light up and she grins ear to ear.
"Oooh yes, just marvellous.
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"We took a picnic bag and sat near the finish line. It was just incredible.
"The whole air was static. It really was, just still with excitement. He just looked marvellous. It really put us on the sporting world map, it truly did."
Mayor Hamish McDouall said the tribute walk went "really, really well, it was really well organised".
"It was attended by a lot of people who were there in 1972, so it was very special," McDouall said.
"A lot of people were reminiscing. A celebration, it wasn't mournful. We are all sad that Peter is gone because he was such an icon."
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When asked about her most vivid memory of that day in 1962, Cairncross said, "I won't ever forget Snell running around that outer lane in his black singlet with the fern on it and pass the others."
Cairncross said she was lucky enough to meet Snell throughout the years.
"I met him many times. He was very nice, very nice to talk to. Nice New Zealand lad. That's how I'd sum him up."
Monday's tribute event included footage from Snell's races, with one thing standing out to McDouall.
"Just to see his running style, he looks so relaxed. But he had this super sprint, this extra sprint, but he was such a powerful man he didn't realise he was sprinting. It was awesome to be able to see it."
Whanganui Sports Heritage Trust is honouring all those who break the 4-minute mile at Cooks Gardens with a hat to commemorate their achievement.
Snell had received his hat number of years ago, so a replica was made to place on top of the Snell statue on Monday to honour him. It also provided the opportunity to present a hat to 1972 Olympic medallist Rod Dixon, who achieved the Cooks Gardens feat in 1974.
McDouall was appreciative of the work of councillor Philippa Baker-Hogan, who organised the event.
"It's really great to have a true sports champion but also someone who has that passion for elite sports as well.
Cairncross lastly offered this for those hoping to live as long as she has.
"Stay off the baccy and alcohol and you will be all right."