A man from Swansea has been hailed as “everything that's so special about the London Marathon” after he stopped his own race to help another struggling runner on the final stretch.
Matthew Rees stopped around 300m from the finish line to help the collapsed David Weyth, telling him "we'll cross the line together" and costing him dozens of places. They’d never previously met.
"I came round the final corner and I saw a runner struggling, his legs were collapsing beneath him,” he told the BBC. “Every time he tried to get up, he kept on falling back to the ground. I went over to him and said 'come on, you can do this' and tried to gee him up. But every time he tried to get up, I realised he wasn't going to make it."
Rees was then filmed propping his new mate up with the help of a steward as they hobbled the last few metres to the end. His decision to help Wyeth – who was visibly unable to stand on his own – was significant: they eventually finished in a highly competitive 2hr 52min 26 sec, finishing 986th overall, with other runners pouring past.
"For someone just to stop their own race to help you, that's such a decent thing that he did,” said Weyth, after he’d got his breath back. "I was urging him to move on, you know please don't sacrifice your race for me. But he stuck with me.”
Watch the video below – it is pretty life-affirming.