Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: ARTIFICIAL (08/11/16)
- TITLE: The Race
By Lois Farrow
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My friend, Amanda is three lanes along from me. We may be from different countries and rivals in this final, but we hit it off the first time we met in Spain. We keep in touch and now we meet again at the IPC Paralympics in Christchurch, New Zealand. It’s been great to catch up in person, instead of skype. She’s awesome and a great runner. I’d love to beat her this time.
“On your marks.” We all have different starting positions. I concentrate only on mine.
“Get set.” I’m ready.
We are off. One hundred metres is not far, there’s no time for hesitation or mistakes.
I’ve been working years towards this, training, sweating, forgoing any social life, and watching my diet. I’m grateful to my awesome coach, she looks after all my gear, including my legs. And she’s so encouraging.
“Sheryl,” she says, “you can do it. You have it in you, and I believe in you.” Thanks.
We arrived early to allow time for training here and also to see the city. It is January 2011 and last September there was an earthquake. Many buildings are in ruins, roads ripped up and people dislocated, but they are thankful it wasn’t worse. There were no lives lost, and buildings can be built again. I’m glad we had a chance to see it, and hopefully there won’t be any more.
I’ve been able to train away from this track, but we’ve also spent time here. I love mixing with the other athletes, each one with an inspiring story. I like watching other events too, and cheering them on. The blind runners were amazing, and I’ve got to know some of the girls, I’m sure we will keep in touch. I liked the winning team from Brazil, especially Christa. Her running mate is Jose, she can’t run without him and is tethered to him with a wrist bank as he guides her. I’m sure she’s in love with him, how could she not! He’s so awesome. Pity she can’t see his handsome face. All those guides have to train and run just as hard as the athletes, but they get no medals for it. They are doing it for someone else. That’s awesome.
I see the finish line, I am near the front but others are coming through. Arms pump, legs stretch out. Suddenly an object flies across my path, narrowly missing me. I startle but don’t break stride. I am across the line and winding down, but no medal this time. Breathe, Sheryl, breathe.
I look back; someone has fallen, it’s Amanda! I head towards her but the paramedics are already racing. I see what happened – her prosthetic leg flew off and across our path. She has crashed on the ground, her injuries will be terrible. There’s nothing I can do so I head to the stands where my coach waits with my gear.
Amanda has worked so hard for this, she will be devastated, and I am crushed for her. I know she will still say God is good, but how can she when he lets this happen? But I know Amanda. She may have an artificial leg, as do I, but there is nothing false about her as a person. She is genuine and real, I think that is why I like her so much.
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