After 10 kilometres of running we find ourselves at the intersection of Howland & DuPont. With one final kilometre to go, our group collects itself for one last intensive sprint.
My newfound friends are fast, strong, and experienced. Many are Boston Qualifiers while I as yet am not.
It is at this point in our weekly tempo runs when I often challenge myself by positioning myself out in front.
The following is an artistic yet accurate rendering of how this last kilometre to me feels.
Scrabbling for its bearings the released fox spirits itself down the path. Though fragrant lilac scents the air the fox does not register this. Instead its senses are honed solely on survival. Legs kicking with all their might, the hunted creature hears its pursuers clamouring to close the ground on their prey.
The hounds are hungry and efficiently lethal. They can chase the fox to its death. And the fox knows this all too well.
He is desperate.
Eyes bulging, lungs heaving, but with no chance of pause on offer, the fox must fight his own limitations to stay ahead of the pack.
At long last hope beckons. Softly at first but thundering with increasing fervency with each successive footfall.
The fox manically latches on to the escape he eyes in the not-so-far distance. Though weary, if he can hold on for another 100 metres the fox will live to see another day.
Redoubling his effort the fox surges forward with the hunters tight on his tail. The hunters’ footfalls, their very breathing pound menacingly in the fox’s ears.
It’s going to be close.