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James was excited as he turned the two hundred mark heading towards home. Two and three-quarter laps had gone and he was still in the lead. His one and only goal was to win this race and he was full of confidence that he could do it. His thoughts race ahead to the podium, the applause, the glory, and his body reveled in the great feeling which it produced. He had started the last lap with a great lead. He had no reason to worry. His legs had a rhythm to them and it was okay.

Behind him, Antonio had different thoughts. He had realized that James was confident, too confident. He was sure he could pass him and he planned to make his move at the one hundred metre mark. He had reduced the distance between himself and James and he knew he had plenty of reserve left. He would win this race.

As they turn towards the home stretch James heard the crowd beginning to get excited. He was bathing in the glory but then he realized that they were cheering for someone else. He heard the footsteps and his body felt a tremor of fear. He heard the breathing and his brain sent an urgent message to his legs, but his legs replied, "Sorry, can’t do!" His nose picked up the faint smell of perspiration as Antonio took him out. His eyes released the tears which they were holding for a situation such as this. His mind reeled from the realization that the dream it had created would never be fulfilled.

Antonio passed the finish line and James followed, but the crowd was still cheering and celebrating. There pandemonium in the stands. It was only then that they realized that the applause and the cheer was not for them, but for those were behind who had sacrificed the idea of winning to help each other reach the finish line. During the race, many had given up and walked off the track, but these few had chosen to give each other the support they needed to reach the finish line.

James and Antonio neglected to understand that it is not just to finish the race but how you finish the race is even more important.

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