race against the clock

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race against the clock

1. noun An attempt to accomplish something in a short amount of time. After getting a flat tire, it was a race against the clock to make it to the airport in time.
2. verb To act quickly to accomplish something in a short amount of time. Jen's going to have to race against the clock if she wants to get her story in tomorrow's newspaper—it's almost time to send it to the publisher!
See also: clock, race
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

a ˌrace against ˈtime/the ˈclock

a situation in which you have to do something or finish something very fast before it is too late: It was a race against time to reach the shore before the boat sank.
See also: clock, race, time
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
IT WAS quite literally a race against the clock. A speed chess tournament in Huddersfield almost failed to get going when it was found only two of the special clocKs used to record moves were WORKING properly.
A jigsaw with the Suregrave name and pictures of Formula 1 racing cars in different colours had to be completed in a race against the clock. Fastest finisher got a Formula One Experience package from Everyman Motor Racing Activities.
"Managing carpal tunnel injuries is a race against the clock," said Intracorp's Nancy Wiese, national medical director, disability management "We can help both employers and employees win that race by quickly getting injured workers to a qualified physician, providing the physician with transitional duty options, keeping employees focused on return to work and finalizing transitional duty assignments."
From then on, it was a race against the clock to build the machines and program their movements for one or both of the tasks in the contest.