For anyone in need of some inspiration in trying times, or even just a basic reminder of the importance of solidarity and human compassion, here’s a piece of video that must not be missed. At the end of the 2017 London Marathon on Sunday, one of the participants took a moment—and ensured himself a slightly worse final time in the process—to help a badly struggling fellow runner cross the finish line.
The video has caught fire on social media, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s an equal parts heartwarming and valuable reminder that sometimes helping someone in need is more important than scraping and clawing for a slightly better outcome. The Royal Family were reportedly in attendance viewing the end of the race, and according to the BBC’s commentary, both Prince William and Prince Harry alike looked on “in disbelief” at the show of selflessness.
— BBC Wales News (@BBCWalesNews) April 23, 2017
The runner who began to lose his balance in the final stretch of the race is David Wyeth, and the runner who came to his aid is Matthew Rees. It seems plainly clear from the video that Wyeth would not have been able to finish the epic 26.2-mile long race without Rees swooping in to help him. It’s not an uncommon sight to see marathoners in this kind of shaky condition toward the tail-end of a race, given the intense, brutal amount of physical strain involved. But that doesn’t make it any less alarming to see nor any less remarkable to watch another runner sacrifice his own achievement to help someone else fulfill their own dream.
Both Rees and Wyeth finished the race with a final time of 2:52:26, although Rees could’ve finished minutes quicker and several dozens places higher had he ran through to the finish. But the good deed demanded that he slow down considerably to support the beleaguered Wyeth, so slow down he did. Hats off to both of these men for reminding everyone what selflessness at its best can look like.