"Look at those flags," he said. "Standing straight out from the poles. Bloody awful conditions."
Jack Foster, 39, a clerk in Rotorua, New Zealand, sought to calm Farrington. "We've got five more days, John. It must stop."
Foster was fourth last year. His large eyes and wrinkled forehead give him an appearance of shyness and uncertainty. In September he had run 80 laps on a track in 1:39:14.4, the world record for 20 miles.
Jack introduced two of his New Zealand teammates, John Robinson and Terry Manners, both 32.
"Not as fancy a field as it might be," said Jack. " Clayton says he's not racing again until Munich. Too much chance of injury. Ron Hill [of England, the only other man ever to crack 2:10] is only doing cross-country this winter. Bill Adcocks [also of England, winner at Fukuoka in 1968 with 2:10:47.8] is injured. Karel Lismont of Belgium [the European champion] didn't answer his invitation, and the Japanese are sworn never to invite Drayton again."
"Last year, after agreeing to run, he wired that he was injured. And in '69, when he won, he left his trophy. Apparently, the Japanese feel they lost face."
"Things are beginning to fall into place for me," said Frank. "Politics and face and duty-free Scotch."
"Well, it never hurts to make oneself welcome," I said.
"Certainly not," said Jack.