Scott, Walker and
Masback were back at war the next night, racing over 1,500 meters in Lausanne,
Switzerland. "Walker had been discouraged that I had beaten him in
Oslo," says Masback. "He went wild to get me back in Lausanne. Which he
did, by the chest hairs." Both finished in 3:37.9, behind Scott's
Coe and his father
flew home the morning after the race. "The house was under siege,"
Sebastian says. "Cars everywhere, cameras, cables. The room was white with
light, and there was plastic sheeting over everything." As he walked in,
the phone rang and he picked it up. A good Yorkshire accent from the
Hallamshire Harriers said, "Hey, if you don't get your forms in for the
agricultural show race, you'll not be in."
"I'm home all
right," said Coe.
That afternoon he
went for a relaxing run, up along the shore of the Howden Reservoir in the
Derwent Valley. The land is part of the Peak National Park. Great old
rhododendrons and pines come down to a stone wall beside the road.
Coe let his
thoughts run free. "I was just glad, blissfully glad to get away from
everything," he says. "Right after a race the difficulty is to find
your sweatsuit and get your shoes changed and give some sort of gentle answer
to excited, dumb questions, the most frequent being, 'How do you feel?' when I
don't know yet how I feel."
Now, gazing out at
the moors across the lake, he knew how he felt, and it wasn't historic. "I
have other races to run," he thought. "It may be years yet, if ever,
before I come to think of the Oslo mile as a landmark."
Then, turning for
home, a clearer idea came, one he surely would share with Walker. "These
records are only borrowed," he would say, "precious aspects of the
sport, temporarily in one's keeping."