I led by three or four feet, with Biggy (John Biglow) surging closer on each stroke. I hated him in those last few seconds; he was the only reason my guts were being strewn over the water like an oil slick ... I pressed one last time, and looked at the finish-line flagman. In that instant the flag jumped down and then up. The up stroke, identifying the second place finisher, was for me. John Biglow was the victor. I stared into the green-brown water watching my bloody soul drop through the depths, slowly rocking back and forth, occasionally glinting in the light, and then finally disappearing.