“Running, always, you have to keep going, going,” is what Kenyan marathoner Hyvon Ngetich said to reporters after she chose to crawl on her hands and knees to get to the finish line at the 2015 Austin Marathon and Half Marathon. We were so amazed. Earlier, her body had given out from nearly three hours of non-stop running, but Ngetich deflected defeat and instead showed true determination that everyone has agreed was inspiring. Amazing!
Right before she made the impromptu decision to finish on her own strength, she was leading the pack in the marathon. In the last ten minutes, she nearly fell to the ground from stress and a wheelchair was brought on standby. The amazing moment began when she remained on the ground and in seconds crawled little by little. She still had to take a breather, but kept on going as spectators, organizers and medical staff were her cheerleaders all the way.
Coming at third place, she completed exactly 3:04:02.68. hours of running (wow!) and was shy of second place by mere seconds.
Backstage, Ngetich humbly recalled what happened and was stoked when John Conley, the Austin Marathon director, gleefully approached and said, “You ran the bravest race and crawled the bravest crawl I have ever seen in my life. You have earned much honor, and I am going to adjust your prize money, so you get the same prize money you would have gotten if you were second.”
Yet one Huffington Post Op-Ed warned, Ngetich’s move was brave, but cause for concern because her body was under the weather. It needed to rest, likely needed some water and food. True, we normally wouldn’t suggest pushing your body to the limit when it’s had enough, but thankfully, that’s what the paramedics at the marathon were there for. They didn’t leave her side once she started crawling.
Believing in yourself sometimes kicks in when you least expect it! Ngetich’s grit has made her the unexpected superstar of the Austin marathon and so we’re proud of her!