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Run, Tony, Run

Run, Tony, Run

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Published by Tony Wilson

Tony Wilson's last chapter of 'Australia United' in which he rocounts his incredible fortune at scoring a free ticket to the Italy versus France final. To purchase 'Australia United' on Kindle, http://amzn.com/B00AMT8XZI

Tony Wilson's last chapter of 'Australia United' in which he rocounts his incredible fortune at scoring a free ticket to the Italy versus France final. To purchase 'Australia United' on Kindle, http://amzn.com/B00AMT8XZI

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Published by: Tony Wilson on Jul 27, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Run, Tony, Run
‘Nach dem Spiel Ist vor dem Spiel.’‘After the gameIs before the game.’
Sepp Herberger, opening credits, Run Lola Run
ive me some scarlet hair, cool lime-green jeans and eminine hips,and I’m Lola. The renetic techno-charged 1998 German lm,
Run Lola Run,
begins with these words rom Herberger, the lategreat German ootball coach, beore cutting to Lola on a call romher desperate boyriend, Manni. Lola’s mission: to raise 100,000deutschmarks in 20 minutes to save Manni’s lie. My mission: to travel12 kilometres in 30 minutes to pick up the most coveted sports ticketon the planet.My cause is not quite as noble as Lola’s: I’m just a lucky man sprintingto get luckier, but that doesn’t alter my intensity. Lola and I both startedwith a phone call as the starter’s gun. Love makes Lola toss her handsetaway in desperation. The promise o a text message rom Mat has meholding on to mine with a vice-like grip.
!’ I say, as I breaststroke through the bog o people inthe
Fan Mile
. I only I could do that cool, animation, music-video thingthat Lola does on the stairs at the start. The bit where she fips into
a cartoon character. I’d surely nd more gaps in the bog running in two-dimensions. ‘Excuse me!
!’Finally I’m through the molasses on the Strasse des 17 Juni and nowI’m really moving – chest out, stomach in, trying to drive the knees.People laugh as I fy past. I’m the only one going this way, out o theTiergarten, dodging the oncoming pedestrian trac as I race towardsone o the
Fan Mile’s
security entry posts. My backpack bounces up anddown, providing the metronome. What was Lola’s techno backing-songagain? ‘I wish … I wish …’I wish I could remember the words. I make up my own.
I wish I was a runner,In search of higher ground.I wish I was the mountain,Refusing to be found.
A girl coming the other way extends an arm or a high-ve. ‘I mightbe going to the game!’ I yell, not slowing down. Hear that,
?I only said ‘might’. An Australian voice breaks rom the crowd: ‘You’llwanna get a shufe on!’ I leap or the clouds and punch the air. I mightbe going to the game!
 I wish I was a cyclone,Pelting rain and sleet.I wish I was a drumbeat,Connecting mind to feet.
I skid back through the bag check at Scheidemann Strasse, theReichstag looming on my right, attempting a Ronaldo two-step shufe.With barely a stumble, I’m through, and again searching or top gear.What did sprint coach Ann Quinn teach me when I was trying to ndthat extra yard back in my AFL days? Elbows at side, drive with thearms. Keep the head still.
I wish I was a traveller,Who knows where he belongs.
Run, Tony, Run
ausTRalia uniTed
I wish I was a singer,Who knows the words to songs.
I begin to fail in a way that Lola never did. Damn you Lola orbeing able to lm your sprints over our weeks, 50 metres at a time! At7.20pm, the temperature is still in the mid-20s and sweat has saturatedmy T-shirt and shorts. Taxi! I badly need a taxi. Two German policemenare loitering in ront o the New Federal Chancellory building.
Entschuldigung. Entschuldigung 
Sprechen Sie Englisch
? Where canI get a taxi?’One policeman raises his palms. ‘No taxis now. Only trains.’ Theother waves a dismissive hand and points in the direction o the largest,newest railway station in Europe. ‘Hauptbahnho, that way.’The beat starts again. I eel a darting pain in my right ankle, my ootball-ravaged body wondering where all the cartilage went. My lungs are bursting.The amplied rhythm o my breathing is thumping in my eardrums.Still I keep running. In
Run Lola Run
, there are three lms within a lm.The ending diers in each according to a metre lost or gained along the way.I must make the next S-Bahn! I must make the next S-Bahn!At least I can’t get lost. Across the river Spree the Hauptbahnho loomsas a shiny, glass monolith – like Superman’s ice-palace in
Superman II 
.To make sure there’s no identity crisis
‘Hauptbahnho’ is written acrossit in letters two storeys high.I charge up the steps, taking three at a time. Then the escalator.The Spandau train comes at 7.29pm. I am on it. I started running at7.10pm. Mat needs me there in 11 minutes. I text him an update:– ‘On train be a ew minutes late.’Mat’s reply text bounces back within a beat:– ‘Red entry point hurry.’There’s nothing to do but sweat and wait. I suck in the big breaths,making valiant attempts to restore my equilibrium. The train is almostempty – nobody in either the scalping market or with legit tickets haslet it this late. There are our guys in Mexican shirts, who have justscalped theirs.‘Fiteen hundred euros each,’ one o them says. ‘We got the nal inthe ballot. It just about covers the trip.’

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