If you’ve ever watched the runners in the Olympics, you know exactly how intense the races can be.
The runners get warmed up and put their game faces on. As someone who has participated in track and field and watched many track meets in her lifetime, it is quite evident that running is simply a difficult sport in which we discipline ourselves.
And sometimes, just like any other sport, accidents can happen. And with running, it is often times every man for himself, and it can be difficult to get back up once you’ve fallen so hard.
But when senior Luke Fortner, who is blind, was running a cross-country race and fell on a hill, one of his opponents, Jake Tobin, decided to lift him up and run alongside him to the finish line instead of using the fall to his advantage.
That right there is true sportsmanship. And not only is it sportsmanship, but it also demonstrates a specific type of drive that is impossible to witness without bringing tears to the eyes.
Another example of this “runner’s drive” just occurred at the end of October. Runner Rei Iida, an amateur runner participating in the Princess Ekiden All-Japan Inter-Company Women’s qualifying race in Japan’s Fukoka Prefecture, was running a team marathon when she fractured her leg.
According to the New York Post, six runners on each team prepared to run about 4.5 miles each to break up the 26.2 mile race. Iida was running normally when she started the race, but suddenly, she was on all fours having broken her leg.
But spectators would soon witness true determination because Iida didn’t give up the race, and it was all captured on video.
Instead, the young runner began to crawl on all fours to her relay partner, crawling between 600 and 1,000 feet on a fractured leg with her knees dripping blood.
According to reports, their team manager Hisakazu Hirose immediately withdrew the team from the race when he was told Iida had fractured her leg. However, these reports didn’t reach the runners fast enough.
With no knowledge of the withdrawal, Iida was determined to finish their group race. As she crawled in pain, spectators watched as she drew near to her partner, who stood with tears in her eyes.
As Iida handed the baton off to her partner, she stood and hopped on her uninjured leg for a moment before sitting back down on the ground.
Iida was later taken to the hospital for medical attention. She is expected to be in recovery for the next three to four months.
What a display of true drive and strength. One Facebook user, Itai Boublil, posted the video of this event and captioned it perfectly.
“Next time you’re feeling you cannot accomplish something, it could be anything, I want you to watch this video. A good reminder of what determination looks like. Step by step, inch by inch.”
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