Emma, Age 12, Palo Alto, CA
                      The starter calls my heat.
We slowly walk onto the track.
Each of us standing shoulder to shoulder,
looking left and right.
I barely hear him say, “Runners, to your marks.”
Toes to the line, we prepare.
Then, ”Bang.” We’re off.
Shouts and screams fill the air.
But I block them out, focusing on my race.
I’m running against the clock.
Arms pumping, legs moving, I reach the final stretch.
I close my eyes, ignoring the pain.
Crossing the finish line, I see my time.
I smile.
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