353 Back for the Sophomore Year 7

With Jake playing so well in training the whole team was getting excited and was also recovering fast, the players were also more confident that the team could perform great this year with Coach Guthridge.

With Coach Smith leaving the team no one expected them to win the NCAA title again this year, which was good because the pressure on the players was so much less so, only Jake still hoped they could win this year.

That's because Jake remembered that in his past life the Tar Heels team performed better this season with Coach Guthridge than last season even though they had more games, they also won the ACC tournament and reached the final four of the NCAA tournament losing in semifinal.

Jake hoped that with him on the team they could play even better or at least perform like this, Jake was confident he could play much better now than in the final NCAA tournament game.

Because he has been able to greatly improve his physical stats since that game, he has gained 5 strength points, 4 agility points, and 4 resistance points, this has greatly improved his physical condition and the other players have realized this.

He had also improved his basketball skills at least a little because he trained every day in the space of his imagination training, in this space he always faced taller and more skilled opponents than himself.

Even though these players' skills were inferior to the best players at the university because they couldn't think well of the moves, playing more than 300 times in this space could only make Jake even better.

Jake was also confident that his teammates were also better this year and more confident after winning the NCAA tournament last year, so they had everything to win again this season.

In the coming days, Jake was still news on sports programs for breaking the world record and because college basketball season was about to start again, everyone was debating whether Jake and the Tar Heels team would play as well as last year after retirement from coach Dean Smith.

Meanwhile Jake was still training with the Tar Heels team and also with Zack for the nearest Chicago marathon, no one expected that this year after breaking the world record Jake still wanted to participate in another marathon.

Especially because it was so close to the start of the new college basketball season, but Jake had already made up his mind to participate in every Chicago marathon he could because he liked this marathon so much.

This year he had still promised to run this marathon with his friend Zack, even though the two of them had quite different performances in this marathon and could not even run side by side.

Maybe when he went to the NBA he could no longer participate in marathons like these and had to run only when he was on vacation outside of the NBA basketball season, if that happened he would have to choose another marathon to run forever.

If everything happened as he hoped, maybe next year he was on an NBA team and could no longer run the Chicago marathon, Jake really hoped he could get into the NBA so it was quite possible that it would happen.

Jake continued training in the coming weeks and so the day he went to Chicago with Zack arrived, he had talked to John before and two plane tickets were already prepared for them and hotel reservations too.

Just like last time Jake would rest a day earlier in Chicago and after the marathon, he would leave, but Jake had already talked to Zack and his friend would have to stay in Chicago for more than two days after the marathon.

This was for safety reasons as this was the first marathon Zack would run and a plane trip right after finishing the marathon was not recommended for anyone, Jake had a very strong body because of the system and feared none of it, but cared about his friend.

Zack understood Jake's cause for concern, and since Jake was practically his coach for this marathon he decided to wait these two days before returning to college, it was for his safety and that was never too much.

Of course, the two hoped that Zack could finish this marathon in a good time after all this training, Jake had no doubt about it and even Coach Davis believed that Zack could finish this marathon easily.

Zack's goal for this marathon wasn't too bold and he just wanted to finish before 4 pm, not a time for elite athletes, but for those who would run the first marathon was a great time.

The time limit for this race was 6 1/2 hours so Zack was quiet to finish this marathon without having to worry about the time, his main goal was to finish this marathon and then finish in less than four hours.

So anyway they were going to celebrate after the marathon that it was almost certain that Zack could complete those more than 42 km, they both went to Chicago and Jake arrived at the hotel discreetly as usual.

The hotel now dared not disclose Jake's address to anyone and even if he had it in town, they were glad Jake stayed at the hotel again after what happened the first time a reporter asked to speak with him at the hotel.

With Zack by his side no one would expect it to be Jake since he always participated in marathons and stayed at the hotel alone, Jake knew he could rest easy that night, but Zack would not sleep because of the nervousness of having his first marathon.

"Zack, you didn't have to be nervous because I guarantee you are prepared for this marathon and it will end for sure."

"Yes, I believe you and I also have confidence that I will be able to finish this marathon, but I still can't be more relaxed."

"It's normal to get nervous before running a marathon which is what you always wanted to do and now it's close to being able to finish your first marathon and it's still Chicago that is one of the most important marathons in the world."

"If you keep talking like that you'll make me even more nervous."

"That's why I'm saying this, you are sure to be able to finish this marathon and be proud to tell everyone that your first marathon was in Chicago, but if you get nervous and can't get enough sleep it can make it harder for you."

"So I suggest you calm down and try to sleep, because you will also try to reach your goal of finishing this marathon before 4 hours, imagine how amazing that would be."

Jake knew well what Zack was like and so he said that to make his friend more excited and get to sleep, just as Jake expected Zack got more excited and went to try to sleep in his room to be rested for the marathon the other day.

Jake had to do this to sleep in his room quietly and be fine to run the next day, he was also nervous before running a marathon, but it was far less than the confidence he had with the daily training he had.

He knew that if he just ran, as usual, he could win a marathon easily, so he just had to calm down and run what he trained to be able to win, the helping system also made him calmer by watching his pace in the race.

The next morning the two of them went to where this year's Chicago Marathon would be, Jake can see that Zack had been able to rest well for this marathon and so thought that his friend was ready to perform well in that marathon.

After a while, the two were ready for the start of the marathon and just before the marathon began that other athletes realized that Jake was running in that marathon too.

No one expected it, but no one was too surprised because Jake always did it in running marathons that nobody expected, at least in Chicago everyone could expect him to show up for running two years into that marathon.

Zack was ignored by everyone for being unknown and because Jake wasn't talking to him to let Zack focus before the start of this marathon, Jake and Coach Davis had already given all the tips they could to him and now it was just time to run.

The marathon started and Jake soon ran ahead and left Zack behind, that would have to be done because Jake's pace was too strong for Zack to finish this marathon almost twice as long as Jake.

"And began the 1997 Chicago Marathon, one of the largest marathons in the United States and the world, which this year expects to have the largest number of athletes competing in history."

"Yes, there will be the largest number of athletes competing and the largest number of foreigners as well, and one of those responsible for that happened came by surprise to participate in this marathon."

"It should come as no surprise that Jake Smith is participating in this marathon for the third year in a row since making his debut in that marathon in 1995, but after running less than a month in Berlin and breaking the world record by winning that marathon no one expected him to be here this year again."

"Jake already said he loved to run this marathon and is proving this year again, and we know this marathon also loves him who has won in the last two years and could win this year again."

"Jake is for sure the biggest favorite, we'll have to see after two hours if Jake will leave the Chicago marathon as a winner again for the third time."
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