But with over a kilometre left to go, I was overcome with inexplicable lethargy. Even the sight of the finish line in the distance did nothing to spur me on. I will finish in my own time, my mind seemed convinced. And I went back to a slow jog. Until I heard someone gaining ground on me. Funny that I could isolate a particular footfall among several hundreds. It grew louder as she drew closer. Soon, she was running alongside me and it was only when she was a few paces in front that I saw what was on her vest - 500-something! She was in my group and she had clocked me. She didn't want to end up last and was racing ahead of me. But I couldn't continue plodding and let her overtake.
The next few minutes saw me digging deep into the last reserves of energy as I willed myself to surge ahead. I ran in a blinding roar. I didn't care anymore. This was all there was to it and nothing more. I called out to the husband to join me in a last dash. And he sprinted along. Finally, there it was, the finish line. I crossed it and that was when I realised - I had been smiling all along.