When Last is First

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When Last is First

Post by green1 »

Saw this today and wanted to share.
Have a good one everybody.

http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/hin ... readerComm

The Day I Was Proud To Finish Last
Molly Grace Gorman
Notre Dame Academy (Hingham)

It was a beautiful late September day in New England when we lined up for our 1.8 mile race on NDA’s home cross country course in Hingham’s Town Forest. The leaves were beginning to explode in their seasonal colors, and the sky was crisp and clear. Unlike other forms of running, cross country races are generally not run in front of spectators. For the most part, coaches and fans only see their teams at the beginning and at the end of the event. During the competition, participants are on their own. On this day, I felt really strong, and while I am sure that both teams were anxiously anticipating the meet, I was ready to win.

At the starting gun, I bolted into the lead; I had been training hard all Fall and it was finally paying off. The course varies throughout its length and after a mass start, the trail narrows over unpredictable terrain, making it difficult to overtake runners in front of you. As I ran toward the “loop” (the mid-point where runners turn for the trek back to the finish line), I realized that this was one of the few times that I was actually leading a race at the turn. I guessed that my lead was 100 yards (20 seconds over my nearest challenger). I felt a rush of adrenaline as I began passing other harriers who had not yet reached the loop, and made my rush toward the finish line and my first win ever!

Prior to the race, I noticed a blonde-girl from Winchester in warm-ups. I could tell she was fast, and I figured that she would be the runner to beat today. Now, as I stretched my lead, I saw her again, sitting by the side of the path, crying and suffering from an asthma attack. Athletes on both teams ran by her without a glance, intent on getting to the loop and winning the race. At first, I too ran by her, focused on victory, however, after a few steps, I stopped racing and returned to her side to give her assistance. As I kneeled next to her, encouraging her to get her breathing under control, and reassuring her that everything would be alright, every other racer on both teams, strode by us on their way to the finish. After a while her breathing trouble subsided, and my fellow competitor and I walked the mile or so back along the trail where we crossed the finish line together.

To this day, I don’t know the name of the girl that I stopped to help. I don’t regret giving up a chance to win my first race because stepping up and helping her was the right thing to do. There will be other races, and I hope that if I am ever in a similar situation, that someone would do the same thing for me.

On a day when Mother Nature’s spectacular color palette of autumn foliage was on display for all to enjoy, I started a cross country race wanting to be the winner. An hour later, I walked across the finish line last, knowing that I was.

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