The gun went off and the runners surged forward. The fastest runners were quickly out in front; the rest of us funneled into our places. I was determined not to go out too fast so I settled into a comfortable pace. He passed me about a half mile into the race; the man in the orange tank top. He looked to be middle-aged, with an orange headband and his iPod strapped to his right arm. He moved past me with ease and I soon lost sight of him.
As we approached the first mile the runners had begun to spread out. I worked to maintain an even stride. A few more runners passed me and I passed a couple. I looked up and there he was in the distance; the man in the orange tank top. At that moment I set my sights on finishing ahead of him.
For some time I didn’t seem to be closing the gap. He remained an orange spot way out in front. Then another runner came up beside me. I tucked in behind him and matched his stride. My pace quickened and the gap between me and the man in the orange tank top began to shrink. After a few minutes my pacer pulled away but my target was now closer. Another runner passed me and I allowed her to pull me along. The gap continued to diminish.
With less than a half mile to go I was within striking distance to the man in the orange tank top. With each stride I closed the gap. Then just before the turn into the final stretch I glided by him on his left. He never knew that he had been my target. With the finish line in sight I sprinted ahead. The lead runners had long before crossed the line, but as I crossed I knew I had won. I finished ahead of the man in the orange tank top.