Warning, this write-up contains a spoiler. Read carefully.
Colin Smith is the main character in Alan Sillitoe's "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner". He is sentenced to borstal for robbing a bakery, but manages to rise through the institutional ranks by long distance running. When running he thinks a lot about who he is and what he has done with his life so far, which makes him re-evaluate his position as the Governor's prized runner.
In the end his nihilism and rebellious attitude helps him decide to give up the big race he is about to win, and instead be true to his own beliefs and convictions.