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My Short Story: The Pace

Updated on June 26, 2017
Mamerto profile image

Mamerto Adan is a feature writer who is back in college once again. Science is one of his favorite topics.

Before I move on, just these few words. I will occasionally post short stories here in Hubpages. For one thing I discovered that I get more views here than in Wattpad. This story is not intended for a paid market for it is not that well-made. I have other stories intended for publishers, with deeper theme. We could say that this story is an experiment on writing. Anyway do note the flaws such as tense and grammars.

And now if you dare, just proceed below. You might find this story cringe-worthy.

The Pace; A Short Story

“You’re late,” said Van to his friend Don as he finishes stretching. The burly Don is twice his size, but he merely chuckles at his friend’s remarks.

“Get a haircut pal, you’ll have trouble seeing your way,” Don replied, “and what’s with the T-shirt?”

Van is wearing a black T-shirt underneath his red singlet. His shorts are also longer than the one used in running

“I’m too skinny to show my arms. And would you look at that, the fun run will start any minute.”

And together with the rest of the runners they exit the crowded gymnasium, the assembly venue for the marathon. They could see the banner with the word start outside. The sky is still dark, and the air is still damp with the early morning dew. But the mood is both lively and boisterous. This year more people have signed up for the fun run.

Runners, get ready! The pre run warm-up is about to start,” said a voice booming from the loudspeaker. A pretty woman in running attire then faces the exited runners.

“Let’s limber those joints everyone,” she said through a microphone, and the music starts.

“I just did my stretching,” Van said then.

“But this is more fun,” Don chuckled. Much to the delights of the crowd, their pretty host starts doing Yoga and gymnastics moves.

“Don, you’re doing it wrong,” Van laughed as his friend stares blankly at their host.

“Okay runners, are you ready,” their host said, and the crowd responds with a tumultuous yes. The countdown begins and the noise dies. By the count of ten, the runners take their positions. Bu nine, all eyes are on the road ahead of them. Then it’s eight, seven and six. The runners join in the count when the last few seconds are announced.

BANG. There goes the signal gun, and the runners are off. Masses of people, men, women, children and pets alike all hits the pavement, running in their own pace. Van is never been so alive and exhilarated since his first boxing match. The rush of breeze on his face, the sound of tapping feet and the chatting crowd brings in a wonderful sensation.

“See you in the finish line,” Don said before pacing away. Van is not exactly a professional runner, so to conserve energy for the ten kilometres ahead Van starts by doing lazy walks. Slowly he speeds up and breaks into a steady jog. To prevent injury and to ease up breathing, Van maintains his form. His posture is upright and his strides are short. He keeps his elbow bent and hands relaxed. Breathings are in a rhythm where inhales are deep and exhales are quick. Several times Van has to slow down to prevent overheating.

The crowd becomes quieter as the race progresses. It’s easy to tell who the serous runners are; the ones going in a quick, but steady pace are seasoned veterans. Others prefer chilling down and walking instead. The newbies are those running relentlessly and exhausting themselves in the process. There are an annoying few who seems to have come here just to take pictures of themselves with their mobile phones.

“What a waste of registration money,” Van muttered. And suddenly Van is done with the first kilometre. He grabs a quick drink in a watering station and speeds away at once. Along the way he meets several familiar faces, from his school-mates, teachers and friends. Don is nowhere to be seen, he is probably way ahead of him by this time.

The road becomes less crowded by the next kilometres. He sees a lot of people slowing down or stopping. Nothing eventful really happened, except for a punk who elbowed several runners out of his way. Karma is quick to respond. By the next moment, he is on the ground due to severe leg cramps.

Minutes pass and only four kilometres separates him from the finish line. Van is now feeling the effects of long distant running. He is slowing down and stopping more often due to exhaustion. His legs are starting to ache. More and more runners are beginning to pull-out from the race.

“Almost there,” Van said after he finishes the eighth kilometre. He changes his running style from a steady pace, to short quick burst of speed; most of the time he prefers speedy walks. Adrenaline starts to pick up by the ninth kilometre. He ignores the pain in his leg and pushes himself. He could see the finish line in the distance and could hear the faint roar of the crowd.

Van is closing in, the noise of people becoming clearer. Any minute now and he will finish the race. Van increases his speed as he approaches the finish line.

At last, he made it.

The cheer of the crowd and loud music welcomes the finishers. After crossing the finish line, Van walks in circles to help him catch his breath.

“Hey Van,” Don shouted. He arrives ten minutes after him.

“An hour and nine minutes to run ten kilometres, not bad for me,” Van said to himself.

“Let’s grab a quick snack; there is a hotdog stand there,” Don pointed.

“Let’s go, I’m starving,” said Van, now more alive than ever.



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