The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

Part I

Smith is a seventeen year old boy, who has to complete his prison sentence in a Borstal near Nottingham. He got his penalty because of having stolen money from a bakery. During rthis time in the Borstal he becomes a very good long distance runner because three times a week he's allowed to leave the Borstal for running about five miles in nature.

He likes running. It's a curtain change, where he can follow his thoughts clearly.

When the governor of the Borstal comes to visit the Borstal,he always treats Smith like a racing horse of high value. Because Smith is a good runner, he wants him to win a cup for him. Smith doesn't like the governor at all, so he hasn't the intention to win the cup for him. Smith just wants to be treated as a human person and wants to show especially this to the governor.

Although the governor is very clever, Smith believes that he is much cleverer than him because Smith knows what the governor wants him to do. But the governor is not able to read his thoughts.

Smith has his own honesty. It is an honesty different from the honesty of the governor but Smith thinks that his is the real true one because his parents taught him: to be honest to himself and follow his own standards.

Smith's near against the blakes of the Borstal who look at the young criminals isn't an ordinary near.It's his own near where he feels that the enemy lifts a knife to stub him but he swears that they won't change him. When he gets out of this Borstal and finds a good possibility to steal, he'll do it again. He wii until he is dead. No Borstal or prison can change this opinion.

Smith hasn't the intention to escape from the Borstal. He will stay until he gets out on probation or they will release him.

Part II

Smith remembers:

After Smtih's dad had died from cancer of the throat, his mother got some insurance money which she spent on buying a new carpet, because the old one was covered with blood from the dying father, and a new TV set. Out of this reason Smith and his friends watched TV nearly all day long. Smith's mom called them her "Telly Boys". Smith's mom herself earned money from some fancy man who visited her.

One day when Smith walked with his friend Mike down the street, they saw an open window at a bakery, looked if someone was watching, climbed over a wall into the window and stole more than 150 pounds from the baker's office. They shared it and so everyone got 75 pounds, folded the notes into bundles and stuffed them up the drainpipe.

Some days later a detective with a face like Hitler asked a lot of questions. To sum up, he was sure that Smith and his pal Mike had pinched the money, so he questioned again and again. The dick came back some other day to search the house a couple of times.

One next morning, when the copper knocked at the door again, he told Smith, that a woman had seen him and Mike going into the bakery. At that moment, banknotes were wasted down by water.

Part III

The day has come when Smith can win the cup for the governor. It is the Blue Ribbon competition which Smith doesn't want to win to show the governor that he has another opinion of honesty.

Smith is right with his assumption that the governor only wants him to win the race for him, that he could tell and show the others that he with his Borstal is " the best". Smith doesn't want to do him this favour. So he decides that he won't win the cup.

To win the cup, Smith has to run a marathon. After some miles Smith leads the running groups because he is the best long distance runner. 100 metres before the finish, he stops running, until the other runners overtake him.

The governor is full of anger and lets Smith work as a cleaner. Smith is proud of himself and swears to himself that he won't be honest in the way the governor is.

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