A Race – Part One

Imagine that you are in a running race for a large prize. There are 50 people who start the race but no one knows how long the race is. The starting signal sounds and some people start running as fast as they can, others set off at a steady pace and a few begin at a walk with the logic that they have no idea how far they will have to go.

Time goes by and the leaders hit a hill. Half way up the hill, most of them have burnt out and give up. Those who are jogging hit the hill and a few give up but most make it over the top. A few of the walkers also give up. The runners go over the top of the hill and continue. Soon night begins to set in and many of the runners stop and find somewhere to sleep. A few continue on into the night.

Those that continue face another hill. They run and run up the hill but the road continues to climb. A few give up and a large group of runners decide to stop as the end can’t be seen in the dark and the hill ‘could go on for hours.’ It is better to wait until light and set out again they reason. Only you and one other runner continue to race.

The top of the hill is just a minute’s jog from where the last runners gave up. You and the other runner continue to run. Soon dawn comes and you both see the finish line a mere 500 meters in the distance. You both get a huge rush of adrenaline and begin to sprint to the finish line. You are neck and neck right up to the last 10 meters. Suddenly the other runner dives and slides across the finish line just one second before you. You are devastated, after running all night you were beaten by just one second.

The judges of the race appear and tell your opponent that he ran a good race but that you have won the race. The other runner complains and states that he was the one to cross the line first. You are also shocked and the two of you believe that the judges have gotten the result terribly mixed up.

The judge then responds by telling you that you had a 2 second handicap going into the race and so have won.

Continued in ‘Part Two’

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