The Race We Share
By: Claire Rogge
Silence surrounds the still, unmoving crowd as we anticipate the loud, cracking gunshot.
After what seems like ages, the cap gun fires and the loud thunder of spikes, movement, and cheering begins.
The runners bolt through the fresh mud in the field, dying the once glowing colors of their expensive shoes into the earthy brown of the swampy ground.
Trees and brush soon engulf the bounding crowd as the course narrows to a winding trail.
Surrounded by the misty shade of the forest, steep hills come and go like rolling waves, breaking and crashing into the shallow shore.
The shouts of cheering strangers fade as we drift farther and farther away from where we began.
A hundred minds rush and stress as they pass one and other, tripping and crashing into each other on the rocky, curving trail.
For a few short minutes, the whole world is reduced to the runners in front of us, and those behind us.
Fears and anxieties of the real world somehow dissolve into the cool forest air, taken over by our instinct to run.
Before we even realize it, the endless green canopy of leaves suddenly disappears, replaced by the familiar blue-gray of the clouded sky.
This is it. Make it count.
Everyone sprints forward, surging past each other with every bit of energy we have left.
Once again swallowed by the blaring cheers and screams, runners cross the bold, blue line and fall to the ground.
Tired bodies carry themselves away from the muddy field near the woods.
We, the odd group of runners, strangers at first, are now all connected by the race that we shared.