Compared to watching paint dry, playing this Spectrum conversion comes a close second.
You take the part of an inexperienced and unknown middle distance runner. You must beat the field in small local events before graduating to the major competitions like Crystal Palace and the European Championships. The final goal is to compete in the Olympic Games and win the gold medal. To all intents and purposes, each event is exactly the same, other than at the more prestigious events the competition runs a bit faster.
The screen is divided into two windows. The larger right-hand box shows your view of the track and surrounding stadium. Your man is depicted in the centre of the screen from the rear. The right-hand window contains a speed and energy meter, as well as a digital indication of the distance remaining to the tape.
"On your marks, get set, go," says the starter. With a little imagination, they could at least have included a gun. As it is, the only sound is the dull thud of your runner's feet on the asphalt and this is much too slow. You have to adjust your runner's speed to suit the required tactics for the race. The faster he goes, the more energy he uses, so if you go flat out you'll end up hitting The Wall before you reach the home straight.
The only praiseworthy thing about the program is the animation. The slow motion rear view of the runners is stunningly realistic and beautiful to watch, which, unfortunately, is about all you can do.
If, for some inscrutable reason, you go out and buy this, I have some advice. Go for the 1,500 metre option first. If you manage to complete the race without falling asleep, then you can try the 800 metres which is only half as boring!