run somebody/something close

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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 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
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References in periodicals archive ?
6 Travelling on the train between Exeter and our nearest station, Umberleigh, the tracks often run close to the river and marshy areas.
The British No.1 dropped the first set on a tie-break before being run close by the 30-year-old American and holding on to record a 6-7 (4/7) 6-4 6-4 victory.
The show opened in April 2013 and has run close to 700 performances.
Gary was run close by host of the championship and two-time Major winner Tony Jacklin CBE, who showed he still has a strong short game.
Transpennine Railways, which run trains from Newcastle to Manchester, will lose nine of its 70 trains to Chiltern Railways, whose routes run close to the Prime Minister's country house in Aylesbury.
According to the Mirror, the British athlete expressed that it would be nice to run close to world records but medals would mean much more to him.
"By the end of summer, when storage is close to being maxed out, we could make another run close to $2," said Stephen Schork, president of Schork Group Inc., a consulting firm in Villanova, PA.
Fox Run Apartments is located at 80 Fox Run close to Princeton Forrestal Village and the University Medical Center at Princeton, which is due to open in 2011.
But it's run close by Majesty Of Decay - a Hey Jude for the 21st century - and Blood Ice And Ashes, all Damien Rice-like light and shade.
Back-row man Andy Moore was awarded the man-ofthe-match prize by the home club but he must have been run close by stand-off Rhys Hayes who has been a real influence this season.
Boyles was voted man-of-the-match, but was run close by Georgie Wood.
"We want to know why this is the case and why so many authorities seem to have run close to running out of rock salt."