Monograph on Alain Mimoun

The Destiny of Ali Mimoun

As long as he could remember, Alain Mimoun had wanted to be French. In fact, he wanted to be French even more than he wanted to

beat Emil Zátopek, and he couldn't say more than that. In any case, Emil was practically unbeatable. What's more, Emil was his friend. Whereas he, Mimoun had shed blood for France. That was the ultimate bond, the contract, the vouchsafe. Better than any birthright. Ironically, it was in the beating of Emil Zátopek that Alain Mimoun would come closest to his life's ambition.


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Pat Butcher is a writer, journalist, television producer and commentator; and also operates a media service for several top road races around the world.

Although writing occasionally on subjects of general interest, his speciality is track and field athletics.

Pat running in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, early 2008
Pat running in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, early 2008

He first attended the Olympic Games in Munich 1972; and has covered all World Athletics Championships and Olympic Games as writer and/or commentator since 1980.

Please consult the menu for links to a variety of projects, from the highly acclaimed book, The Perfect Distance: Ovett & Coe, The Record Breaking Rivalry; to the television documentaries, Arabian Knight, The Story of Said Aouita and Race For Kenya; to the radio programmes Sport In the Movies and Coe & Ovett in Moscow; to various newspaper, magazine and website articles; and links to the events which he helps publicise across the world.

Unless otherwise accredited, all pictures on this site are from Victah Sailer at

Butcher's Blog

December 12, 2014



If Haile Gebrselassie was peeved at being upstaged by a couple of in-form Kenyans in the Marathon Singapore 10k last Sunday, he soon retrieved his equanimity, and was mulling over at least, “one more marathon,” before retiring to the celebrity … Read more

December 9, 2014



Radio is a frequently ignored medium, except for those airwaves transmitting what Noel Coward referred to as ‘the potency of cheap music’. But for those of us of a relatively serious bent – better late than never, I hear the … Read more

December 7, 2014



The dream life of Kenneth Mungara continues, with another marathon victory, this time in the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore, Sunday morning. It was already unlikely that the 42 year old Kenyan would ever have to work behind a barber’s chair … Read more

December 5, 2014


Geb presser

It may have been his first sight of Singapore’s pristine clean streets with super smooth surfaces that underlined Haile Gebrselassie’s view here today that technical innovation as much as Kenyan-Ethiopia rivalry was going to lead to the first sub-two hour … Read more

November 15, 2014


KST Electra

Grief is a hard act to conjure, and sustain for well over an hour centre stage; and Kristin Scott Thomas, trying hard to disguise her dainty frame and fine features with a grubby shift and bedraggled hair, is clearly experimenting … Read more