The famous New York City (NYC) Marathon may be highly competitive, but a few people competing in the annual event recently proved that humanity mattered more than winning. In a heartwarming video breaking the internet, two strangers were seen coming together to help a fellow runner, who collapsed just a few meters away from the finishing line. Cheered on by the spectators, the two are being hailed as heroes online as well.
The 2021 NYC Marathon returned after getting cancelled last year owing to the pandemic. A whopping 33,000 turned up for one of the world’s biggest and oldest annual long-distance running events. And although people were pretty pumped, it’s not easy to complete the gruelling course stretching over 42 kilometres where participates go through all five of the city’s boroughs, starting in Staten Island and ending in Central Park.
When a man in a black tank top appeared to stumble about 200m from the end line, completely exhausted and unable to even stand up, two of his fellow runners refused to give up on him. They picked him up and helped him make it across, with the crowd cheering the trio on the whole way.
TikTok user Andie Kent, who was in the crowd, captured the moving moment, which is now a viral moment, winning hearts online.
Watch the video here:
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“I hit the record button, and here we are. I was like, this is humanity at its finest, a moment I haven’t seen in awhile, and I just thought people deserve to see this,” Kent was quote by ABC7 NY.
The runner identified as Jamel Melville by the news outlet said, it was a moment he will never forget and was moved by the decision of the two strangers to help him. He added that the crowd’s cheering also helped him to carry on.
Runner Craig Astreicher ran on Melville’s left told the local news outlet he had to stop as he knew the sad feeling of not being able to complete the race himself. “At mile 18 I had to pull out because of an injury, I know what it’s like to not finish,” he said talking about an accident two years ago.
The kind gesture by all involved got everyone talking online, with people saying the “act reaffirmed their faith in humanity”.
Peres Jepchirchir and Albert Korir, both Kenyan, won the Women’s and Men’s Professional Open Divisions, respectively, USA Today reported. Madison de Rozario of Australia and Marcel Hug of Switzerland each took gold in the Women’s and Men’s Professional Wheelchair Division, the report added.