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See You At the Finish Line

Notes & Transcripts

One runner learned this when he was competing at the Pennsylvania Relays. He was running a relay and was the lead-off man in the second lane. In the first lane was record holder for the 100-meter dash for prep school runners at the time. This guy also held a record for arrogance because when he got to the line, looked over and said, "May the best man win. I'll be waiting for you at the finish line."

The gun sounded. The record holder took off and the rest settled in behind him. They went around the first turn and down the back stretch. About 180 meters into the race, all of a sudden the arrogant record holder was slowing down in front of the first runner, holding his side, bent over, and groaning as he jogged along. Everyone passed him like he was standing still, and because I'm such a gentleman, the first runner said, I waited for him at the finish line.

At the end of the race my coach took me aside and said, "I hope you've learned a lesson today. It makes little difference whether you hold the record for the 100-meter dash if the race is 400-meters long."

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