Chapter 3

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Jeff is the host from the show. I can't believe I got a letter from him (although, I think he probably didn't even write  it).
I awake the next day not even knowing I passed out from excitement.
"Connor, The Run is in two days so they'll pick you up today. Let's get you ready." Says Mom.
I dress myself in my nicest clothes and eat a nice breakfast of toast with blueberries. Delicious! Next, I wait outside for the fancy, blue futuristic van to come pick me up. Sure enough, after a half hour or so, it comes. I say my final goodbye's to everyone and give them all hugs (which takes a couple minutes because there are so many people.
They call out to me as I walk down the dirt driveway.
"Don't get hurt!"
"Good luck Connor!"
"Go team Connor!"
"We'll be watching, have fun!"
I hop into the van to find there are four other male chosen runners from this village. I recognise most of them too. We pick up a girl and start driving to this year's "Runner's Field". Wow this feels great. We are all now official runners. I am going to be in the run.
I review all of the rules and regulations in my head on the way there.
I've watched it enough times to know that the first thing you do when you get there is get interviewed. Less than half of the interviews get on the air though. Mine probably won't but, oh-well that doesn't really matter. Once that is all done you will gather on the field and the rules will be read to you. Then the gong sounds and all 120 runners take off towards the mats in hopes of reaching one, but many will not make it. There are only thirteen mats to be reached and once they're taken, all other runners are eliminated. There are many obstacles along the way such as rough terrain, ditches and hedges to jump over. There are also monsters to slow you down. Monsters are just other people dressed in black suits who will try to tackle you and prevent you from getting to the mats. There will be 145 of them this year I believe. It is often hard to fend them off and many people lose their chance because of them. But there is one more factor: supplies. Food, water, and other necessary items are scattered throughout the field and you are supposed to pick them up along the way. If you take too much, it will slow you down and you won't be able to reach your mat in time, but if you don't grab anything, you will have to leave your mat to get food but you can't leave your mat for the first two days or else you are out. But there's always a twist to the game and I will not be able to figure out what that is until Jeff tells us.
For the rest of the car ride I just look around the van inspecting things. I'd say we're three quarters of the way there already. I quickly realize the other four boys are fast asleep but the girl is just sitting. We lock eyes and she smiles delightfully. I return the smile and before I know it, we're at the Runner's Field.
They check us in and stamp numbers on our hands. I am number 104. We then move on to the interviews where they will ask us a few simple questions, but the line is terribly long. When our group joins it, they've only finished a dozen or so.
While waiting in line we start a casual banter and learn each other's names. The girl's name is Paige and the guys' names are Mike, Josh, Tyrone, and Phillis.
finally, We get to the interviews and I'm the last of us five to go. A woman asks me simple questions.
"Why are you here?"
"My parents gave me this as a Hustlerenia gift and I got in!" I say excitedly but then frown slightly because obviously I got in because I wouldn't be here if not.
Next she says, "Do you think you can win?"
"Well I've been watching this show since I've was six and My whole family loves it. I've already got sort of a plan." I say.
"Well, then enlighten us!"
I knew what she was doing. I'm going to have to pretend I'm best friends with the whole country and tell them my secret. The audience eats this stuff up and if I do it right, I'll get on the air and people will be rooting for me from the beginning.
"Well, you see, my plan is" I say half covering my mouth to create the feeling that i'm telling them a secret, "I'm not going to take a traditional path. I am going to try to go to the side to avoid the monsters and get to the mats that way. I think this will give me a good chance." I didn't know if it gave me any sort of chance but whatever.
"Alright Connor, best of luck, and I hope to see you on one of those mats soon!" She says with fake energy because she has to do this for 120 people.
"Thanks" I mutter as I rise from my seat.
I am directed towards "cabin E" and I meet the other guys from my town there. We get a casual conversation going and munch on some snacks.
Later, we split up to get dressed, or shower, or whatever. I decide It would be good to run on one of the treadmills provided for us. I turn it on and immediately fall on my face and get a bloody nose. Hah! I wipe the blood off with some tissues as I figure out how to use this crazy machine. It's so weird. These other runners are jogging and not going forward. I set it on the lowest setting and slowly walk on the moving fabric. This is so cool! I then try to practice the sprinting. The field is always 400 meters long but my alternate route might take longer so I set it to 500 meters. Running at my top speed I make it there in a minute and a half. That's pretty good I think. By the time I'm finished I'm sweating buckets so I go to take a shower. The showers are nice. Warm trickles of water flow down my body elegantly. I am so excited, for tomorrow at 8:00am we will start the run. I don't think I'll get much sleep but it's already dark and I should rest up for tomorrow. I walk over to my bed, take of my shirt, and plop in.
Surprisingly, I doze off quickly. . .

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