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.


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

January 18, 2016



The top finishers in the 20th anniversary edition of the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon early Sunday morning were unanimous in declaring the conditions the worst they’d ever run in. But despite the monsoon rain, the men in particular put … Read more

July 26, 2015



Zane Branson who, among many other things was a runner, an athlete-manager, and a friend has died, aged 57, of a suspected heart attack in Iten, Kenya on Saturday, July 25. To many people in the athletics business, ‘athlete-manager’ is … Read more

June 18, 2015


ron clarke

Ron Clarke, one of the all-time greats of long distance running has died, far too early. Setting close to a score of world records, and taking huge chunks off the best times for the classic 5000 and 10,000 metres events … Read more

April 29, 2015


Vic Holchak

It is with sadness that I report the demise of friend and colleague, Vic Holchak. I lost contact with Vic around a decade ago, as interest in track and field athletics waned, and we couldn’t find media outlets to sponsor … Read more

January 26, 2015


Kim wins HK

In a major marathon upset, Kim Hye Gyong of the Democratic People’s Republic of (North) Korea won the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon early Sunday morning. In doing so, Kim beat the otherwise all-conquering East Africans, won the Asian championship, … Read more