Yet here he is. Atop the rocky cliff top born anew. Simba.
When asked when the transformation happened one club insider said “I think the penny dropped when he heard Oceans estimated he would run the Tokyo marathon in 4 hours 50 minutes. That really hurt him.
“He couldn’t believe how lowly people were thinking he was going to run. So he went off the grog and adopted a ‘I’ll show them’ attitude”.
For those who missed the result, Dan Last ran the 42km in 3 hours 30 minutes. It was a remarkable effort especially when you take into account his family name. It was an effort that shut the doubters up and gave him the image that endeared him to the punters down at the Hobgoblin pub. The image of the great Aussie battler. His gruesome account of the trials he faced in the lengthy run a testament to how far he has gone.
“I was doing well until around about the 29km mark”, Last told reporters earlier. “I bought a gel pack at a running convention not long before the race. Basically I didn’t read the package properly and it turned out to be poison. I started feeling nauseous and was about to puke all over my shoes after ingesting the contents. The reaction my body had to the gel pack brought my mind back to a piece of advice I received – and obviously didn’t listen to. Don’t ever take anything you haven’t tried before during the race. Yet I pushed on and when I saw Jesus running in front of me with a giant cross strapped onto his back, I knew it was a sign. I had to show Oceans I could run faster than 4hours 50 minutes”.
That he did.
Another club insider told of how much the change has surprised everyone. “Last year he was getting his younger brother drunk to the point his brother threw up all over the girlfriends hair while sleeping. Even though it was humorous at the time, the new Last would never let that happen nowadays. He would make sure the girlfriend would be wearing protective head gear before going to bed. That is how forward thinking he has become”.
How Last now deals with the leadership role remains to be seen but he evidently has gained the support of the group with the club reporting record numbers to training and sturdy player retention. Even Hobgoblin has jumped on board for another 2 years, showing faith in the Goannas new leadership group.
As we roar into season 2014, broken train signs and 50 metre penalties seem a thing of the past. The resurrection of the man some call ‘Telladega’ (if you’re not first, you’re last) looks to continue unabated.