After two miles there was a loop that brought you back again to the main road. Look at their divine stupidity! Instead of making the loop cross the main road further up, they brought it back so it overlapped the first part of the route.
Some were running at a five-minute pace, and others were running at a 13-minute pace. So the fast runners who were finishing the loop were blocked by the slow runners who hadn’t reached the loop. They could not go fast because we were blocking the way. I felt sorry for them.
After two miles I saw my Cleveland friend. I was only 200 or 300 metres inside the loop, and he was completing it. He was practically 1,200 metres ahead of me. He had made the loop, but he was being blocked by the slow runners. He was almost furious. I don’t know, but his face was not normal at that time. Even then, when he saw me he waved. I was so grateful to him.
Now the fool in me — I don’t know how or why — also started running fast. When it was three miles, my time was under 21 minutes. I said, “Is it possible?”
When I completed the loop, I looked back and, O God, there were so many people behind me — hundreds of people. At that time all my pride came to the fore! “I am a great runner, because so many people are behind me.” I thought some had not even come to the loop. “I am completing three miles and, God knows, still they haven’t completed two miles.” And at least 300 or 400 were way ahead; God knows where they were.
But I felt sorry for the excellent runners, because they had to cross through the bad runners like us. We were disturbing them on the way.
RB 97. 7 October 1979↩