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The assumptions of a 100-m run

Sometimes they tell you what the rules are. And sometimes there are no rules. But there are times when they don't tell you all the rules, assuming you know them.

This is what happened in my first 100-m run at school. The Physical Education teacher took my class to the city stadium to give everybody a genuine running experience. I was shown the start and the finish line and was told to run between the two as fast as I could. And so I did. The only strange thing was no one told me I didn't have to finish exactly at the Finish line. 

What I did then, some of my classmates found truly spectacular: I started at the Start at a speed of 0 km/hour and I finished at the Finish line at 0 km/hour, speeding up and slowing down in between.

Needless to say, I was made to run again. This time, however, I was given clearer instructions: I didn't have to finish at the Finish line but way farther. 

You would wonder, isn't the Finish line an oxymoron, since you don't really finish there. Shouldn't it better be called the Stopwatch line - given that it is just the stopwatch that is stopped there.

This is why I now divide running a 100-m race into four categories:

1) Zero start & flying finish: This is the one we all are assumed to know - start from scratch and run past the finish line.

2) Flying start & flying finish: Start earlier than the start line and have the stopwatch start the moment you cross the start line. And then run past the finish.

3) Flying start & zero finish: This is basically how to decelerate at the most efficient way and stop right at the Finish line.

4) Zero start & zero finish: This is what I did in my first 100-m run.

I am leaving it to you to add more categories to this set next time you have to run 100 m. Downhill or uphill; straight line or zigzag; running on feet or on hands. Anyone?

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Themes in story:
  • tell
  • oxymoron
  • a 100
  • Downhill
  • uphill
  • feet
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