It had been a long summer. Training had been hard as had been the running of relentless races, but I was improving and I could see me getting closer to Abebe at the end. He had done well this year, but still wanted to go out with a flourish. I had followed him for many races and was pleased to be with him at his last race.
There were few of us ahead, thinning out in the sunny fresh morning. In the final miles, the crowds were out welcoming us into the stadium. Abebe was just ahead as we reached the inner track, on which we were to finish.
He seemed to pause. This was his end and the completion of an era of running. I came up behind him and smiled. Abebe’s face was in pain. He shook his head and nodded me onwards. I also shook my head.
On the final turn, I took his hand and in the rapture of the crowd we progressed towards the tape together. I enjoyed letting go of Abebe and watch him cross the line before me. He was the man I always wanted to be.