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Miles lives in a meadow not far from here behind Mr. Bannister's barn. He has lots of friends that live nearby. There is his best friend, Manny who lives down by the pines. His girlfriend, Flo and her best friends Jo and even Evan a frog that lives by the creek in the woods.
One day Miles and Manny were walking along when they met Betsy posting signs.
"What are you doing Betsy?" asked Miles.
"We're having a race and these signs tell all about it. I hope you two are planning to run in it," said Betsy.
"You bet! We'll be there," sad Miles, although Manny didn't seem too excited about it.
When Betsy had left, Manny asked Miles, "Why did you tell her that WE were going to run that race?"
"Because WE are," replied Miles.
"But look at the sign. The race starts at the school, follows Cady Way trail down by my house, then up around the woods, the pond and even the golf course before coming back to the school. That's really a long way! I don't think I can run that far," said Manny.
"Then we better start training, the sooner the better. We can start with shorter runs and work our way up to longer runs." Miles' enthusiasm was contagious.
"You really think I can do it?" asked Manny.
"You bet! I know you can do it!" answered Miles.
So the very next day, they met early and started to train. While they were out running, they met Flo and Jo, who were also out running.
"We're training for the Big Race," said Flo.
"So are we!" said Manny.
Miles suggested that they should continue to train together. It was a lot easier to train with others than running by yourself. So the weeks went by and the training got easier, but Manny was still worried. He kept saying over and over, "that's a really long way!" But when they stopped at the water fountain, Miles reassured him, "Don't worry about it, you'll be ready."
Finally, the day of the big race arrived. Betsy was out early getting ready for the big day. "Thanks for coming out today. I hope you two have fun today, good luck!" "Thanks," said Miles, and they headed off to the starting line. As they waited for the starting horn, Miles wished his buddy luck. "See you at the finish line." "I guess so," said Manny.
At the sound of the horn, the race began. Miles, who is very fast took off and was soon in the lead along with some other fast critters. Manny started off slow hoping that he would have enough energy to keep running. Miles was in the lead around the pines and up around the meadow, into the woods and around the pond. He was coming around the golf course, when he noticed his friend Manny didn't look so good coming out of the woods.
So Miles slowed down and waited for his friend to catch up with him around the golf course. When Manny came around the corner he really didn't look that great, but he was still running and Miles told him that he was very proud of him. Miles also said that it was just a little farther and that he thought they should run together all the way to the finish line. Manny plodded along and with words of encouragement from him friend Miles, they both crossed the finish line.
There was a lot of cheering, but Manny felt awful. "Why aren't you happy? What's wrong Manny?" asked Miles.
"You were in the lead, you could have won, but instead you ran with me and we both lost."
"We didn't lose," said Miles.
"We didn't?" asked Manny.
"We BOTH crossed the finish line, that makes us both winners! You said it yourself 'That's a really long way.' And you didn't think you could do it, but you did and I did too. That makes us both WINNERS!"
After Manny thought about it, he knew his friend was right. So he and Miles went back to the finish line to cheer for the rest of the winners as they crossed.