"I had give up," Vandendriessche said later. "But when I see Bikila ahead, I know I beat him."
The Belgian passed the Ethiopian right in Coolidge Corner. Each gave the other a quick glance, and then the Belgian was gone. Bikila, who later said he got a leg cramp, dropped back after that. Kelley passed him to finish second. Kilby was third, Oksanen fourth and, finally, the tired Bikila fifth.
For the next few hours there were periodic cheers along Exeter Street as runners jogged, walked and in some cases sprinted home. Old John Kelley finished, coming in 84th. Kurt Steiner, the front runner, failed to break three hours, but he did finish 91st, in 3:18:05. Nothing was ever heard from Pat Rudd, the hamburger man.
Aurele Vandendriessche listened to the cheers from his room overlooking the finish line. He answered questions and posed for pictures—no one had to ask him to smile—then took a hot bath and put on his bright-blue suit. He had enjoyed his visit, he said, but he was eager to get home, see his family and take a run through the forest.