A competition that's so close it's nearly a tie is nip and tuck. You could describe a race by explaining that it was nip and tuck until the last twenty yards, when one runner pulled ahead.
Another way to say nip and tuck is "neck and neck." Two racehorses moving right next to each other, noses even, are nip and tuck. A newer, less formal, but even more common meaning of nip and tuck is a very little bit of plastic or cosmetic surgery. You might hear someone say, "I just need a little nip and tuck so my neck isn't quite so saggy."