The chorus40

At eighteen miles my first attack came: my hamstring revolted.

When it was twenty-one miles, out of the blue, five songs I heard all at once. It was absolutely a chorus; the music was on! How can I get five cramps at a time? The pain was excruciating. I was helpless, flat, dead! Some of the disciples were helping me. One of them was seated and, with a sponge, was pressing my leg with cold water, while another was pushing my toes forward. How hard, how quickly, the first one was massaging me! And afterwards, four or five times he did it again. Even now it frightens me when I think of the pain — excruciating!

After that experience I started walking. Slower than the slowest, a quarter mile I walked. Again the pain, so again I walked.

Running is forbidden now. Just walk, walk as slowly as possible. When it was twenty-three miles, another new friend came — right here in the neck. I couldn’t breathe in; neither nostril was functioning.

O God, this was really unbearable! With the previous pain, at least I was able to breathe in, so I felt that there was something going on. But when it started in this muscle, I was not able to breathe even. Too much, too much!

Some people — I think, nurses — came up, but we didn’t take their help. I said, “I have got my help.”

When it was twenty-five miles, a strong desire arose: “Oh, let me run at least the last mile.” It was a desire, nothing else. As soon as I tried, all the cramps said to me, “Where are you going? We are still alive.” Such pain!

I thought 800 metres, 400 metres, 100 metres I would run. Finally, when it was only twenty metres, the officials were asking me to run. I tried, but I knew if I had run, I would have dropped right there and fainted, so I just dragged myself. I wasn’t even walking — just dragging my body. Anyway, I managed to finish.

RB 104. 7 October 1979