A race begins with high energy. Organizers use thumping music which further pumps the accumulated anticipation of months of physical training and mental preparation. A countdown increases the tension as its increments shorten. Suddenly a shot and, like a freed spring uncoiling, runners take a race’s first steps which are some of the most important of the many before and the others that come after; each reducing the distance to the finish. People react differently to anxiety and a race’s start is no different. Some are absorbed and become silent, but a surprising number chat despite the fact that they are running. Friends and strangers alike enter conversations, often focusing on the mundane, perhaps to shift focus from the challenge. Humor and positive energy are common and laughter wonderfully accompanies the first couple of miles. There is, however, a moment; usually associated with a hill or maybe a marker indicating progress, when silence suddenly settles. Nobody mentions a need to concentrate or says that they’d prefer not to talk, but this is understood. The race’s distance becomes real and the runners enter the place that they need to finish. Rhythmic footfalls rule and months of individual training join to form a heaving unit. Nobody ceases to be him or herself –they are, after all, competing- but together they move towards an end; a human mass’s unspoken agreement that they will not talk. This group silence appears throughout life and is a metaphor for much. Perhaps today you'll be a part.