Even in the heat of competition, there are acts that go beyond good sportsmanship.
Look no further than what Robert Gomez, 34, did for 23-year-old Jesse Orach during Saturday’s Beach to Beacon 10K in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.
Orach, who was leading his division, ran one helluva race until he collapsed from heat stroke about 100 yards from the finish line.
That’s when Gomez sacrificed his own time and the win to pick Orach up and help him across the finish line.
“It kind of seemed like it was over for me,” said Orach, who finished first among Maine men in last year’s race. “Then, I felt someone pick me up.” (The Press Herald)
They both completed the 10K in 31 minutes, 31 seconds, but Gomez gave Orach a slight push across the line.
“He ran a better race. He gave it more than I did,” Gomez said. “I didn’t deserve to win.”
After bringing his core temperature down from 107.3 degrees, Orach was blown away when he learned he had won.
As for why Gomez stopped rather than collecting the win himself?
“For a split second I kept going until I looked and saw it was Jesse,” Gomez told The Press Herald. “I couldn’t leave him there. In the running community, I feel camaraderie comes before competitiveness.”
Proof that not only do runners have some of the strongest hearts, but they also have some of the biggest.
Here’s a look at the moment and the two runners’ recaps.
This was Orach’s second Beach to Becon win.