The Long, Hard Journey of Nathan Sorrell, Road-Runner

Sport is for the elite. We all know that. It’s for the few who are born with the gift of fire in their genes, the toned and the honed who measure their progress in slices of a second.

It is for the working ideals of our species, the models, the benchmarks, the human machines whose achievements are cast in the sheen of gold.

As for the rest of us, well, we watch, we marvel, we analyse, we discuss, we freeze-frame, we rewind, we wonder what it must take to get to the line ahead of all the others. So here’s the answer.

This is the new Nike ad, and for once it doesn’t feature an Olympian who sprints and leaps and throws bolts of lighting with the speed and precision of a god. This was shot in London. Not the London of the 2012 Games, but London in the middle of nowhere in Ohio, USA.

And this is Nathan Sorrell, who is 12 years old and who has just taken up the sport of road-running. He told his hometown newspaper, the Record Herald, that he got “sick in a ditch” while filming the ad, and that he and his family are now going to work together to help each other lose weight.

The point is, we can’t all be Bolt or Pistorius or Chad or Caster. But we can at least aspire to be Nathan Sorrell, who isn’t, for the moment, much of a sporting star, but who reminds us why humans get up to do sport in the first place.