run (someone or something) close

(redirected from ran them close)

run (someone or something) close

To nearly match or surpass someone or something in one's performance, skill, or ability. While he is still the undisputed master of filmmaking in my opinion, there are a few directors who run him close. She finished first to retain her championship title, but the favored newcomer ran her very close—just half a second behind her.
See also: close, run
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

run someone close

1 almost defeat a person or team in a contest. 2 almost match the same standards or level of achievement as someone else.
See also: close, run, someone
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

run somebody/something ˈclose

(British English) be nearly as good, fast, successful, etc. as somebody/something else: Germany ran Argentina very close in the final.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
Dundee Harp ran them close on the same day, by beating Aberdeen Rovers 35-0.
World pusuit champion Wiggins paired with Marvulli to win the Elite 1km time trial in 57.990secs but Manx youngster Mark Cavendish and Ed Clancy ran them close with 58.316secs.Wiggins was pipped by Paul Manning in the 4,000m challenge match.
Reivers coach Bob Easson said: "Ebbw Vale are a very physical side but we ran them close in the first game earlier this season.