It was the end of the race, and the last two runners of the men’s open were racing to the finish line. I was standing near the finish line to photograph runners as they came in. What I love about this photo is the story it tells about adult cross country. Even though they were the last two runners in the race, the crowd is enthusiastic, cheering them on, happy, and fully engaged in the race – they showed just as much enthusiasm for those that came in last as they did for those that came in first. And the crowd had a very strong reaction when both runners sprinted to the finish line, cheering them on, simply for the love of running and competition and for not giving up, even if you’re last. Just as this photo was taken, the runner on the left gave up and Empire runner Daniel Karbousky came through the finish line chute and collapsed onto the grass outside of the chute. I helped pick him up and got him walking again. I believe this is the best photograph I’ve ever taken of a cross country race because it shows the supportive community of adult cross country and the spirit of competition. And of course…..the Empire runner came in first!