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Old 09-15-2008, 07:03 PM   #282
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
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The short foot race

"The sprint this time!" Eodwine grinned. "I don't think I'll bet on Osmund for the longer run."

"We'll see about that!" cried Osmund.

There was a good round of laughter and then they quieted as the runners got into position. Lithor again explained how it would go. The red flag had been moved, and Wilcred had volunteered to stand at the flag to declare the two winners.

"Go!" yelled Lithor. Degas got the best start, and Eodwine did well too. Matrim and Erbrand started a half step behind them, with Osmund in between. Cnebba and Javan got off like two peas in a pod, but Garmund stumbled before he could get going.

They covered the first fifty feet in seconds. Eodwine and Degas were neck and neck, Osmund one foot behind, and Erbrand and Matrim a foot behind them. Six feet back from them ran Javan; a full running stride behind him was Cnebba, and Garmund brought up the rear, but he had been gaining on Cnebba.

Matrim quickened his pace and caught up to Eodwine after another fifty feet. Degas had fallen a foot back, tied with Erbrand. Osmund was now a half stride behind them. Back ten feet ran Javan. A full running stride back was Cnebba, but Garmund was now tied with him.

They neared the flag. Matrim was moving ahead. Degas was pulling even with Eodwine again, and Erbrand stayed just a head behind. Osmund was falling back almost a full stride. Javan was still ahead of the other boys but Garmund had passed Cnebba, who had fallen farther behind.

Matrim crossed the finish line first, almost a full stride ahead of Eodwine and Degas, who finished tied. Erbrand was just a lean behind, and Osmund brought up the rear of the men. Javan crossed the line six feet behind Osmund, Garmund three feet behind him, and Cnebba three feet later yet.

All of the runners were bent over their knees, breathing heavily. "I owe you a copper, Erbrand!" Eodwine said. "Osmund! Were you trying," he puffed, "to lose me my coin?!?"
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