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"I don't know," he said. "Maybe Mother of the Year."
Finally the race began, and after several laps Duncan MacDonald took the lead and set a crawling pace.
"I remember the start," said Ryun, "and then I remember it said nine laps to go and then six. That's when I woke up. Sometimes you go to sleep out there. You worry about doing that. But in practice it's great. If you didn't sleep in practice you'd blow your mind."
With 4� laps to go, Ryun said to hell with it. Or, rather, to heck with it. He sped past MacDonald and soon was in front by 20 yards and widening the margin with every lovely, flowing stride. He ran the last three laps grinning; the fans spent the last two laps giving him a standing ovation. He won in 4:04.4 and by at least 50 yards.
"When I crossed that finish line," he said, "it was like a great big weight was removed from my shoulders."
"Yeah," someone said. "Like Miami."
Then Ryun went in search of Anne, who had run to a phone to call her parents. "He found me out in the hall while he was warming down," she said. "He even got to say a few words to my folks. And what else? Oh, yes, he kissed me. I remember that now."
Then the press got him. Next race? Munich? The Olympics? Kip Keino? Liquori? "We'll have to sit down and discuss it," Ryun said, putting an arm around his wife's shoulder. "Now, if you'll excuse me, please, I have something to do. Come on, Anne."
Together, they left the pressroom and went out into the hall. There seemed to be a million kids lined up, all armed with pencils and outstretched programs. Ryun didn't stop signing until the last program had been thrust at him and the last kid had gone home happy.
Then he sighed. "You know," he confessed, "there was one disappointment tonight. I sure wish I could have seen that shotput record throw. But they made us stand out in the hall."