The Race

I was bent over the stopwatch, mulling over the seconds as Jack zipped round the track. When he crossed the finish line, I pressed the button. 55 seconds! That was five seconds better than my personal best of 60 seconds! I was amazed. What my friend, Kumar, had said was true.

Jack was good. Jack was the representative for his class for the 400 metre dash, as I was for my class. I had been the champion for five years straight and now, Jack posed a "threat" to me. The only way I could get admiration from my classmates was from sports, as my studies were not good. If I did not win this year, I would lose the admiration from them! I still have one more month to train up for the competition. I doubled my training times for training my stamina, speed, and methods, and trained whenever I could. However, even after two weeks of hard work, I did not improve. I started to lose hope and felt both worried and panicky. I wanted to win, but yet I could not! Unless I thought of a way to make Jack lose the race! But that would be cheating!

For many days, I weighed the pros and cons of cheating. If I cheated, then it would be at the expense of my credibility, but if I lost, I would lose the admiration of my friends. In the end, I finally decided to bring Jack out of the race so that I would win. I thought of many devious plans to achieve my goal, and finally, I decided on the most plausible one- I would cut Jack's shoe laces such that it would break when he ran, causing his shoes to drop off. I tried it a few times on my old track shoes.

On the day off the race, I went to school with butterflies in my stomach. I cast a few nervous glances at Jack at the stadium and hoped the trick would pull off. Finally, it was time for us to get ready for the race. I slipped my penknife into my sports bag and went off with the other finalists to the locker room. When Jack and the others went into the cubicle to get changed, I stealthily got out my penknife and crept over to Jack's shoes and cut off about three quarters of the shoelace underneath the tongue. I got into my cubicle just as another finalist got out of his.

As I steadied my feet on the start-off block, wild thoughts rushed through my mind like a river. Was it really worth it to cheat just to win the race? Was getting my classmates' admiration really that important? Just as the countdown began, I remembered what my father had told me in the car that morning. "Bobby, it doesn't matter if you don't beat Jack and be first. Just so long as you try your best, I will be proud of you." I quickly made up my mind and dashed over to the referee and ordered him to stop the race. He was stunned, but did it anyway. The other participants stared at me in bewilderment. I made my way to Jack and told him that his shoe laces were spoilt as I had cut it. His eyes opened in shock and surprise.

Of course, in the end, I had to face the music and was scolded and punished by my teachers, but at least, I was glad that I had come to my senses in the last minute and prevented further damage. As for the race itself, it was postponed and Jack broke my streak and won the first place.


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Hi guys, I'm a student in Singapore, and this are some thoughts and essays I have written over the years.