You could say he’s the fastest ‘civilian’ in Lebanon for the 3 to 10K distances on track and road, and that he’s been known to win some races in longer distances even, like when he placed 3rd in the army’s cup last year for the 16K on track (the only civilian to ever do that, btw); or when he came in first in that nice stroll in the desert, near Abu Dhabi that Red Bull likes to think of as the ‘Thoughest Challenge in the Middle East’, wearing road running shoes on an unforgiving terrain, to top it all. This, and many others races won, just go to prove that Nader is heading, at a fast and steady pace to the 2020 Olympics.
Five years are not that long of a period to train in the best kind of conditions, to qualify for Tokyo. For the time being Nader is training the best he can, and the members of the Inter Lebanon Club he joined are doing whatever they can to support him and find him sponsors. Lebanese runner and recordwoman, Pia Nehme is coaching him all the way from Canada, and Nader is training twice a day, now that he’s graduated from College and just before he takes on his new part time job managing young jewelry designers from all over the world. A cool business experience, to be sure, but something that’s gonna keep him from running more, and keep him in Beirut, when he should be training in altitude for substantial periods of time. Nader in Arabic means rare and therefore precious, which is perhaps why he ended up taking that part-time job in a new project for young jewelry designers who with precious stones, and precious metals. For my money, I would rather see him as a full time athlete and future Olympic athlete. If he has to deal in precious metals, let him dream, at least for a while, of those round discs that officials put around the neck of three people at one point in time, that are made of bronze, silver or gold.
Nader would hopefully qualify for the Olympics. His times are nearly there, and he’s training hard enough, mostly by himself. No one here can match his pace, except for the army athletes. Ideally Nader should also be training at high altitude in order to boost oxygen-carrying red blood cells. Nader should be replacing his training shoes every month. Qualifying for the Olympics is such a big deal. Meeting all those athletes from around the world, would be a dream come true. No one can ever hope to be beat the Kenyan athletes from the Kalenji tribe, for they were born to win these long distances, but Nader should definitely be among those lucky few Lebanese who get selected for Tokyo in 2020, and we as a country should learn to stand by our athletes more than what we are doing, and for that we should start by attending more athletic events.
Seeing Nader run on track, seeing him break away from the pack, and then seeing catch up with those last runners, and then all the rest, is definitely a mystical experience, as if Nader like Mercury had put wings on his feet. Nader and all our Olympics qualifyiers will hopefully carry a message to the gods of the track and field and the other Olympic sports who will gather in Tokyo in five year’s time. Let us think hard about what that message should be.