The climax of “Raymond’s Run” takes place toward the end of the story, as Squeaky and Gretchen wait for the winner of the fifty-yard dash to be announced. What event contributes to the tension at this point in the story?

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At the end of the race in Toni Cade Bambara’s story “Raymond’s Run,” there is a bit suspense.

Squeaky and Gretchen finish running the race, and Squeaky realizes Raymond ran right along with her on the other side of the fence. The outcome of the race is not known at this time. As the race directors begin to announce the winner, the public address system begins to make a high pitched sound and then dies out. The timers can be heard discussing the results and their voices become muddled in the background. Both Squeaky and Gretchen are recovering by walking off the race and taking deep breathes. The girls are questioning who won the race, which adds to the suspense of the moment.

“In first place . . .” the man on the loudspeaker is clear as a bell now. But then he pauses and the loudspeaker starts to whine. Then static. And I lean down to catch my breath and here comes Gretchen walking back, for she’s overshot the finish line too, huffing and puffing with her hands on her hips taking it slow, breathing in steady time like a real pro and I sort of like her a little for the first time. “In first place . . .” and then three or four voices get all mixed up on the loudspeaker and I dig my sneaker into the grass and stare at Gretchen who’s staring back, we both wondering just who did win.

 While they are waiting, Raymond climbs over the fence to join Squeaky. She reacts to his running abilities with jubilation by hugging him while they jump up and down. She is so proud of him and sees him in a different light. Those who watched the race think her reaction is because the men on the loud speaker finally announce her as the winner.

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