College student Haley Klinger was just 100 yards away from completing her first marathon when her legs started to give in. What happens next is became the quintessential representation of good sportsmanship – and the power of faith.
Klinger, a junior at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, was running in the Philadelphia Love Run Half Marathon on Sunday when she started to feel weak and lightheaded around the 11-mile mark, she told Runners World. Although it was her first 13.1-mile race, the nutrition major was not stranger to fitness – she had played field hockey at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania before transferring to Messiah.
“When I felt my body slowing down in the last mile I was still determined to cross the line and finish, but my legs kept buckling,” Klinger said. “I just hit a wall that I didn’t know I had.”
Two friends – Bryan Crnkovic and Joseph McGinty – noticed Klinger struggling as they approached the finish line.
Crnkovic took Klinger’s right arm to offer support, while another running, Keith McAuliffe, did the same on her left.
Then, Klinger felt the adrenaline kick in and tried to press toward the finish line. But, when she dropped to the ground, McGinty scooped her up into his arms.
The three men put her down about 5 yards before the finish line and helped her cross the finish line on her own two feet.
The scene posted to Fox 29 in Philadelphia had been viewed almost 30 million times as of Friday.
Klinger said months before the race she had been praying to be “bold and courageous” in her faith, she said.
“I think God used this event as a way for me to speak up,” Klinger said. “I was physically unable to finish the race on my own, and God placed three people around me to help me cross the line.”
She continued: “I learned that when we are pushed outside of our comfort zone and face challenges or difficulties, God will carry us through, and in this case three amazing men were placed in my life when I needed help.”
(H/T: Runners World)