Kenyan marathon runner Hyvon Ngetich, 29, was about to win the Austin Marathon on Sunday when her body collapsed with just two-tenths of a mile left to run.
While her body failed her to win the race, her winning mentality and bravery captured the hearts of many.
Despite being wobbled and staggered, Ngetich never stopped moving. Being unable to walk or run, she literally crawled across the finish line, refusing help from the medical staff who offered her a wheelchair.
The elite runner’s toughness has paid off after finishing third in the competition.
Lifelong runner and Austin Marathon race director John Conley described Ngetich as a “champion” and “the toughest person on the planet.”
“You ran the bravest race and crawled the bravest crawl I have ever seen in my life,” Conley told her. “You have earned much honor.”
He said that Ngetich crawled more than 400 meters just to get to the finish line, resulting blood on her knees and elbows and her hands stained from the pavement.
“As bad as it looks, we knew she was prepared to finish,” Conley said.
After her exceptional effort, Ngetich was immediately treated in the medical tent and was found to have dangerously low blood sugar in her body.
Apparently, the Kenyan runner doesn’t remember finishing the race.
“I can’t remember what happened, and I didn’t see the finish line,” she said. “I don’t remember all that crawling or whatever, even the collapsing I don’t remember.”
Despite the incident, Ngetich plans to be back in Austin next year for another race.
“Running, always you have to keep going, going,” she said.
Watch her determined effort here: