Chandler Self had hit the wall in the Dallas Marathon on Sunday when she got a literal pick-me-up.
Self, in first place, was staggering toward the finish of the 26.2-mile race when Ariana Luterman, a high school runner participating in a marathon relay, stopped competing to help Self up several times down the stretch, according to media reports.
At the end, Self lunged forward, grabbing at the finish tape with her hand, as Luterman steadied her.
Self was whisked away in a wheelchair ― as the winner.
“The only thing I could think of to do was to pick her up, so I picked her up and I think she was a little confused at first,” Luterman, 17, said in the Twitter video below. “No way was I going to just gonna start sprinting and just leave her there. … Right when we got to the finish line, I just kind of pushed her in front of me so she would be the one to cross that line.”
“My legs started turning to Jell-O at Mile 24,” Self said, per SportsDay. “Then at Mile 25.5, they turned to Jell-O so much that every step I took, they were giving out from under me.”
Self, a 32-year-old New York City psychiatrist and Texas A&M alum, finished in 2 hours, 53 minutes and 57 seconds to capture the women’s division.
But we’d say both Self and Luterman were winners.
“I was thinking mind over matter, c’mon let’s do this,” Self told the ABC affiliate in Dallas.
As for Luterman, Self told SportsDay, “She was so encouraging.”
Incidentally, administrators of the non-elite race did deliberate before giving Self the victory, ruling that she would have won even if she hadn’t received assistance. Runner-up Caitlin Keen said she had no complaint with the result.