By Ahmet Abdulaziz ……

We are 4 brothers and sisters, and the names of all of us start with A. The reason for this is very interesting.  As my father told me, he wanted all of us to be at top of all the lists, issued alphabetically.

The reason for this desire was his own name. The name of my father started with Y and that of my two uncles with Z, so in every alphabetical listing their names used to be the last ones. He always found himself disturbed for being the last in the list.

So all of us brothers and sisters have names starting with A. But my father had not realised that all lists have not been prepared alphabetically, particularly where competition is the criteria. My father had perhaps never thought that I would be more interested in road races, where performance is more important than the spelling of the name.

But unfortunately, this time I am not happy too. I have never found my name in the results sheets of the competitions in which I participated. To be very precise, I have the honour of being the last in all of the road races that I have participated in so far. It has another positive aspect also.  I never had to search for my name after a race ended. I always knew that my name would be the last in the list.

Way back in the mid 1980s when I participated in the first road race. It was a 6 km race, and more than 10 athletes participated. Almost half way I had realised that I would be the last.  I had guessed correctly. When I reached the finishing point, it was only my coach and my father who were waiting for me there.  All the others had left.

The only difference with my first and the next races was that in the first race I did not know at the start of the race that I would be the last, but in the other races i did know even before the start of the race, that I would be the last. I met with the same situation in all the road races that I participated in during the 1980s in Pakistan before coming to North Cyprus.

I participated in my first road race in the TRNC in the late 1990s or maybe early in the 21st century.  I was happy to see the consistency in my performance over a gap of over 10 years. Once again I finished last in that particular race.

However there is one particular cross-country 8 km race in which I participated in 2008 or maybe that was 2010, in Lefkoşa. Here also I ended up the last, but managed to win a medal. In fact this is the only medal that I have ever won in the whole of my life. The story of how I ended up winning this medal is also interesting. The race was competed by 4 athletes, and I was very sure of my last place, but had never thought of winning the medal for ending up last. Two of the participants had left the race half way and were disqualified, so I won the third position and the medal too.  It indeed was an unforgettable race for me.

Due to all this I stopped participating in races, and run on my own, to feel better. But sometimes I feel a need to compete in a race. I do not know if I would be doing that or not, because right now I am completely out of form, and out of track for about 3 years.

But right now I am working hard to return back to road, running and walking,  crossing long distances.

However, sometimes I feel if my father had given me a name starting with Y or Z, maybe I would be ending on top of the results lists of competitive races. I may be right and I may be wrong too.