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I'm reading The Sellout by Paul Beatty. In this paragraph I have some difficulties:

Facing north, I timed my run and sprinted between a speeding Maserati and two teenagers in a birthday BMW convertible. A dirt trail peeled down the mountainside and through the chaparral for about a mile or so, eventually leading to a side street and Crystalwater Canyon Park.

Does it mean that "I took a look at my watch and started a short running race with those cars"?

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It means that he adjusted his pace so that he could run at full speed and pass through the gap between the Maserati and the BMW as they moved along the road.

‘Time’ is used in the sense of ‘arrange, fix or choose a time for’ (Chambers English Dictionary), he chose the moment at which he would sprint. A sprint can be a race, but also as here ‘to run at full speed’ (CED)

The line could therefore be written as

Facing north, I chose my moment to run and ran at full speed between a speeding Maserati and two teenagers in a birthday BMW convertible.

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  • Insert a Frogger reference and get more upvotes. :)
    – shoover
    Dec 13, 2022 at 21:03
  • @shoover I have only the dimmest awareness of Frogger.
    – Spagirl
    Dec 14, 2022 at 8:01

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