Determined runner crawls to finish line

By Drum Digital
17 February 2015

Kenyan marathon runner Hyvon Ngetich lost her bid to win the 2015 Austin Marathon after she collapsed to the ground less than 50 m from the finish line.

Hyvon (29) was leading the pack of top female runners, but with victory in sight, exhaustion set in and she started to fade.

Hyvon Ngetich crawling-to-finish

By the time the finish line came into view her body began to shut down, but the determined runner was not ready to give up. Unable to run anymore, Hyvon collapsed to her knees and proceeded to crawl on all fours, her eyes locked on the finish line.

One volunteer stood behind her with a wheelchair, which she refused to use until she crossed the line at 3:04:02 — just three seconds behind second-place finisher Hannah Steffan. Hyvon still managed to nab third place in a photo finish that defies the odds.

“For the last 2 km, I don’t remember,” Hyvon told KEYE-TV. “Finish line, I have no idea.”

The incredible act of endurance and persistence caught the eye of race director John Conley, who promised to give her the same amount of money given to the second-place finisher as a prize for her dedication.

Winners get US$3 000 (about R34 800), second place takes home US$2,000 (about R23 200), and third place gets US$1,000 (about R11 600). Cynthia Jerop won the women’s race with a time of 2:54:21.

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