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Stages of the Race This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

Running takes over.
Legs moving, lungs breathing
Deep, steady breaths.
Staying with the best.
Watch ticking, heart ticking.
Over paths, roads, grass.
Uphill, downhill, flat.
Across the country,
One mile down, 1.5 to go.
Spikes digging, arms waving,
Running constantly,
Every second still brings more

More than halfway through,
One mile to go.
Lactic acid seeping throughout body,
Crippling the talents.
Muscles screaming like a

frightened child,
Must stop! Won’t stop.
Half a mile to go.
Heart is beating,
Strong, sure.
No chance of stopping,
Almost to the line,
Soon, soon.
Images of the brave crossing

the mind:
Heroes, never giving up.
The power is gathering.
One-third of a mile to go.
Closer, just a little more.
Quick, before you die,
The taste of the line is in the mouth,
The sound of the line strung in the

final cheering,
The smell of the line dripping in

the sweat,
The sight of the line in front,
15 feet, 10 feet, 5 feet

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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