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The Runner

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Still as a statue

One among many

Uncharacteristically quiet


A puff of smoke, an intense BANG


Sudden chaos

Muscles explode propelling me

Into a mob

I elbow someone, a blur of color,

To get to the outside

And out of a traffic jam


Wind bites and tears at me

Already my hands are numb

My calves and ankles have a dull ache


No smells, no tastes

Tunnel vision blocks it out

Just keep moving, next mile

Push up a hill, glide down a slippery descent

Everything gray and damp


The finish, loud cheering

Flags and cones, bright colors

Calling on a reserve of energy

I didn’t know I had

And one reward

Ready to race again




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