id650-The Impossible Dream

Written by Aladdin   


This is an imaginary tale about someone who has spent many years in athletics. Let’ s call him Ernie.

In his younger days Ernie was known as a rather good runner but now he mostly devotes himself to athletics administration. One day he was sorting through everything that had accumulated over the years in his office store cupboard. It was a tedious task as everything was covered in dust because nobody had wanted to arrange it or clear anything out.

He came across an unusual trophy and as he tried to clean it a genie appeared from within and offered him a wish. Anything he wanted.

Ernie thought for a few minutes and confessed a special desire. “I want to race once more. I want to race against the top guys – Gebrselassie, Bekele etc. I want it to be in a high profile meeting and I want to win.”

“Oh dear,” the genie replied, “that really would be a problem; money would be needed to set it up, arrangements made with the sponsors and accreditation issues. We’ d need to devise a special training programme, commission a lab to develop new substances to boost your stamina, to improve aerobic capacity, to assist muscle recovery and all that before the doping police finds out about them. You don’ t seriously imagine you can turn up one day and join in even if you can run 12 minutes something for 5000 metres. You need profile, endorsement by your federation and credibility to meeting promoters. Let’ s face it, they don’ t want to know once you are 40, let alone 50! Please, you can ask for anything but not this?”

“Yes, I see the problem and I apologise. My wish was selfish and unworthy. What I really want is for our athletics administration to be simpler, more transparent and more accountable to the athletes.”

“Right, where do you want to race, Zurich or Brussels?”

(with acknowledgements to Pete@HWAC & SW Vets)


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