Would coming last in a race really be so bad?

As I trudged up Scafell Pike, I saw Ricky Lightfoot on his way down, on his way to setting a new course record. It made me reconsider how I’d previously felt about underprepared race stragglers ...

‘Oh boy,” I thought, watching a tiny figure descend through the mist towards me. He was heading back towards the fork in the path where I knew he should have turned right. “That guy is in trouble.”

I was about a third of the way round the Scafell Pike trail marathon but he, it turns out, was not. He wasn’t in trouble. He was Ricky Lightfoot and he had taken that right, done a loop of the summit and was now heading swiftly back down in perfect accordance with nominative determinism. He was about two hours ahead of me –going by my speed, not his – and well on his way to setting a course record for the race we were both (supposedly) running.

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Guardian Health and Wellbeing - Thu, 10 May 2018 11:49:25 GMT

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