A steely voice declares aloud "Runners take your place."
Trembling with a sense of fear they step up to the line
Worrying about the race that they are about to face.
"Set!" He cries and down they go, ready to begin.
An echo of a gunshot thunders in their ears, and they start.
With urgency they fly as though time has already gone thin.
The seconds tick and runners struggle to make or keep their place.
Spikes gleam and thrust and runners sprint to stay ahead of the pack.
The timers yell out minutes as the runners fight with grace
To push themselves and try to do the best they've ever done
Or learn to fly with legs of steel atop the track and gravel
And strive to do their best against themselves and everyone.
The final bend, the final push, the end is now in view.
They runners find within themselves the strength to finish strong
And, finishing, collapse to the ground, a rest that is long due.
On the ground, caught in the snare of pain that was their prize,
And yet a victory inside themselves, a smile on their lips.
They've made their mark, they've taken their place, so it's with victory they rise.