“Faster, Faster, FASTER!”
They all chanted in unison, as I kept moving.
Mile 25, I was so close I could taste it, although “it” was mostly my own sweat.
Most were left behind, but sprinting only a few feet behind me, I could feel a rival approaching.
The dust was getting kicked up from under our feet, and I couldn’t see a thing. That’s when it happened.
I, along with the dream of victory, went head first into the pavement. My head pounded, and through my blurred vision I could see that rival crossing the finish line, with everyone else.
I wanted to know his name, but in that moment I couldn’t bring myself to face him. The chanting was long gone, some turned into disappointed sighs, some into hysterical laughs. Either way, it wasn’t me with the first place medal, and that’s all that had mattered.