At the end of Jazy's greatest June he went to Helsinki to run against Clarke again, this time at 5,000 meters, in a match the French newspapers were calling the race of the century. When the Finnair jet landed, coming in low over the lakes and the islands and the pine forests and dropping into the grayness of Helsinki, Jazy was rushed by photographers and reporters. "Look at him," said one British journalist. "The world's best miler. Isn't he small, though?" Wearing a blue suit, white shirt, gray tie and pointy Italian shoes, Jazy looked more like a pop singer—maybe Vic Damone—than he did a runner. His long hair was cut peculiarly in the back, slanting up toward the right of his neck as if he had been trimming it himself with a razor and someone had yelled at him.
Some 30,000 people yelled in the long light of that summer night, but the race of the century turned out to be something of a flop—if that can be said about a race in which Jazy set a European record and runners from Kenya, England, Norway and Sweden set records for their countries. Jazy, who alternated the lead with Clarke for eight laps, did a 13:27.6 and won by three yards over Kipchoge Keino, a Kenya policeman who runs to the office. Clarke was third. Schul and Billy Mills, U.S. Olympic 10,000-meter champion, suffering from shin splints and blisters and the fast trip from the AAU meet in San Diego to Helsinki, were far out of it. But the surprise was Keino, whom a Finnish newspaper called "the colored leech" for the way he stuck close to Jazy even during the Frenchman's famous final sprint. "If he keeps running like that, he is going to take the fun out of it for me," Jazy said, grinning.
After the race Jazy, who was disappointed in his clocking, said he thought the 5,000 meters could be run in 12:55 or less—a prediction that is bound to come true, since Clarke, less than two weeks later while Jazy was on vacation, broke his own record over the slightly shorter distance of three miles in 12:52.4. "Jazy can beat 12:55," said Mallejac. "He likes longer distances, because he feels he is older and more mature and they take character. Unlike the short distances, they are for somebody who likes to make a solitary effort. Jazy does because he dominates himself now. He has the endurance and physical resistance that are required. And he loves racing, although he will not always admit it."
In early July, Jazy took his family on a holiday. "I am physically and nervously tired," he said. "I want to go live quietly for a few weeks like millions of other Frenchmen."
Jazy is off vacation now and running again. In the next few weeks he is determined to regain the 3,000-meter record, smashed several weeks ago by Siegfried Herrmann of Germany, and to establish himself as the world's finest 5,000- and 10,000-meter runner. Jazy would like to tour the United States if a promoter could arrange a way for him to bring his wife, as Clarke did. "Michel would be overjoyed. He would be touched," said Mallejac. Jazy and Mallejac can think of no reason why Jazy shouldn't be able to run until he is 37. In those eight years, considering what he did in just one month this year, it seems as if an endless perspective of. new records might await him. "What I intend to do," Jazy says, "is find out my limits."