Born in Apartheid South Africa, to an English Father and an Afrikaans mother, Malcolm “Bobby” McGee was brought up with a rare collection of experiences that cut across the divided racial lines of South Africa. Bobby demonstrated an early love for running and fitness as a young man running middle distances and cross country both at school, then later at the University of Stellenbosch, near Cape Town, his Alma Mater. He gained a B.A. Honors Degree (cum laude) in Human Movement Studies as well as an education diploma & a degree in English literature. He was conscripted into the South African Defense Force and served as an infantry Lieutenant and later Captain in the South African Defense Force, where he served a combat tour in then South West Africa, (now Namibia).
With his passion for sport and his aptitude for endurance, Bobby’s father advised him to pursue his passions through becoming involved in sport education. He realized after completing his degree and spending 5 years as a high school coach that he wanted to coach at a much higher level and returned to university with the this purpose in mind. Bobby McGee thus began his coaching career over 30 years ago as a High School Track and Cross Country coach in South Africa. Bobby rapidly transformed his 5-man high school cross country team into a state championship squad of 55 athletes. He was fortunate to be around world record holders, elite coaches and scientists in this time who responded to his requests for information and guidance – figures like world renowned sports scientist professor Timothy Noakes.
Bobby’s fame as a running coach in South Africa quickly spread, and top athletes in the country flocked to him because of his demonstrated ability to motivate, transform their running form and mechanics, and develop scientifically sound training plans that led them to new heights in their running performances. But South Africa, at this time, was banned from international competition because of its Apartheid policies. With almost no pay, and little hope for coaching a championship athlete, Bobby coached in relative obscurity purely for the love of transforming lives through running.
Bobby is a coach who knows his stuff and is passionate about learning and sharing.
In 1992, Apartheid abrupty ended, and Bobby suddenly had his chance to coach athletes on the world stage. In 1992 he was the
South African marathon coach to the Barcelona Olympics. Then in 1996, with tears of joy streaming down his face, Bobby watched as Josia Thungwane ran into the Olympic Stadium in Atlanta to win the Olympic Marathon Gold Medal. Josia, who Bobby had guided for 4 years, was of Ndebele heritage, and he became a national symbol of post Apartheid South Africa’s hopeful future.
After coaching a number of world class runners, Bobby moved to Boulder Colorado for the spring and the fall each year after 1992 preparing runners for the big city marathons of London, Chicago, Boston & New York, until finally moving to the US in 1996. In 2002 he founded Bobby McGee Endurance Sports, and began to focus on the emerging sport of Triathlon, where Champion Triathletes at all distances sought out his running expertise. Bobby, over the past 10 years, has been a part of the preparation of over a dozen Olympians, even more top ranked ITU Triathletes, and for an even longer period many world class runners over distances from the 800m to ultra-marathons. He has even coached world record holders and world champions in the sport of race walking.
Testimonials of Athletes who have worked with Bobby:
“I worked with Bobby in my lead up to the Athens Olympics. His approach to running took my running to the next level, helping me become the World #1 ranked triathlete for 2 years. His blend of science & intuition definitely brings out the best runner you could possibly be.”
—Barb Lindquist Olympic Triathlete & winner of many of the world’s most prestigious triathlons
“In the early part of my career, when I was transitioning from being a swimmer to being a triathlete, Bobby helped me with my running form. I took his guidance to heart & in a very brief period was able to apply his principles & alter my form in such a way that I could run train effectively without fear of injury or plateauing.”
Andy Potts, World Champion & Olympic Triathlete
I have worked with Bobby McGee since 2004. Besides his coaching, which turned my career around, he paid particular attention to my form; something I’d not had before in my career. Having torn both my plantar fascias repeatedly in the past, not only did I become injury free (with no breaks from competition because of injury in the 4 years that he has coached me), but I went on to become one of the world’s top steeplechasers, represented my country in the world championship finals & on 3 other occasions. I set the current American record for 2000m Steeplechase. He knows his stuff & his approach to biomechanics definitely works for me.
Carrie Messner-Vickers, US Athlete & Record Holder
“It has been such an honor and a pleasure to work with you Bobby. Reading and rereading printouts of your emails / summaries, and sharing with my husband your thoughts, was such a key in getting my mental skills on the right path. I marvel at your ingenuity and eloquence. Getting started with your book* last year, I remember thinking how incredible it would be to meet you, and now I have had the opportunity not just to meet you, but to expose all my mental weaknesses and get your assistance in forming habits to turn them to strengths. I cannot thank you enough.” (*Magical Running, Bobby’s Sport Psychology book/program)
Margie Shapiro, US Olympic Trialist 2008.
His motto is
With Grace, Gratitude & Guts