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  • It's Summer 1989, I'm training for the 3000m on sports day.

    Its the first time the school hosting a race of this distance.
    I've decided that as long as I can finish third, I'll be immortalised in the school's record books.

    We train 2-3 times a week.
    One time, I do my seven-and-a half-laps in a searing 28°C afternoon.
    I'm not going to drink even a glass of water until sunset.
    I must be crazy right?
    Kinda. It is Ramadan and I am a Muslim.

    I'm not really an athlete
    I don't think of myself as competitive.
    Others say I can be demented on the field and am a bad loser.
    A few months ago, I cut a boy's chin open with a hockey stick, swinging for and missing the puck.

    It's the day of the race.
    The eight entrants have been narrowed to a field of four.
    I remain in fourth through my first six and a half laps.
    My best friend Lyndon Walker is ahead of me in third.
    Neither one of us will close the gap on the first and second place runners.
    Chris Taylor and James Rouse – they've already lapped us twice.
    Lyndon is fading, his rhythm is off, so it's now or never.
    I'm getting cheered by all the girls in my class.
    They never noticed me before… the only Pakistani amongst a thousand white kids.

    I wolf down a couple glucose tablets before the final lap.
    I can feel liquid pooling in my trainers.
    I know its blood. My blisters from training haven't full healed.

    I pass Lyndon on the final straight.
    He's still on my shoulder and I can hear him closing.
    He's my friend but I'll climb over his back for this.
    I'm seconds from Glory and The Girls.
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