Races

London Marathoner sacrifices his own race to help exhausted runner in act of ‘ultimate sportsmanship’

by On Apr 25, 2017

"We will finish, we’ll finish together': Fellow marathon runner words of encouragement as he helps exhausted runner over the finish line.

London Marathoner sacrifices his own race to help exhausted runner in act of ‘ultimate sportsmanship’

What would you do if you spotted a fellow runner struggling to keep his legs moving nearing the finish line at a marathon race? Would you ignore him, offer him encouragement while continuing to move on yourself or signal to a nearby first aider to attend to him?

During the London Marathon 2017 nearing the finish line last Sunday, David Wyeth was clearly in trouble and it seemed inevitable he would have to give up on the race. However, Matthew Rees, 29 the Swansea-based Good Samaritan decided to intervene by helping David Wyeth over the finish line.

“I saw him try to stand up again and his legs just went down again, and I thought, ‘This is more important,’ ” said Rees, 29. “Getting him across the line is more important than shaving a few seconds off my time.”

"I went over to try to help him and every time he tried to get up he just fell down again and again, so I just tried to cheer him on, picked him up and said: 'Come on, we can do this'.

Rees said that when he spotted Wyeth he knew there was “no other option” but to lend a hand. “I had to help him, he’d come 26 miles and the finish was just there. When I went over and spoke to him, you could see how determined he was.

“He said, ‘I need to finish.’ I said, ‘We will finish, we’ll finish together.’ ”

Despite the signs of extreme exhaustion, both men finished the race in less than three hours.

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More than 40,000 runners took part in the London Marathon 2017, which began at Greenwich Park and Blackheath. Waiting for them at the finish line were the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

Mary Keitany of Kenya broke Paula Radcliffe’s 2005 world record, winning with a time of 2:17:01. Her time beat Radcliffe’s by 41 seconds.

Daniel Wanjiru, also of Kenya, was the men’s winner in 2:05:56, holding off Kenenisa Bekele (2:05:57) of Ethiopia.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of RunSociety.

Nathaniel is a disciplined casual runner and a lover of bananas. As a columnist for RunSociety, he is always on the lookout for exciting and controversial topics that touch the heart of the running community in Singapore, often adding in his funny observations. He has embarked on a mission to start a world class running group in Asia.

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