Of all the stories to emerge from last weekend’s London Marathon, it was the selfless actions of Matthew Rees that resonated with people the most.
Rees, a member of the Swansea Harriers, sacrificed his own finishing time to help struggling fellow runner David Weyth get through the final stretch of the race.
After noticing that Weyth had collapsed on The Mall, the Welshman then took him under his arm and the pair completed the 300m distance to the finish line together as countless others poured past them.
In the days since the runners – who had never met before last Sunday – have gained almost celebrity status, and after receiving an outpouring of messages praising Rees’ decision to stop, his new friend’s club, the Chorlton Runners, have decided to repay the favour.
In a letter published to their Facebook page, chairman Neal Wainwright said Rees was a ‘credit to Swansea Harriers’, before making the generous promise to cover the cost of entry to next year’s Marathon.
“We realise that you have in a small way sacrificed your race and as a community we have unanimously decided that this is something we would like to put right,” he wrote. “We would like to ensure that you have a second chance to run your race in 2018. Chorlton Runners will pay for your 2018 race entry, weekend accommodation and 1st class rail travel from Swansea to London. Our membership have already made it very clear that they wish to show their thanks in some way and we intend to raise the funds through contributions from our individual runners. We hope that you will accept this small gesture and as one we hope it proves to be a wonderful race for you.”
Now, we’re not saying that a free first class train ticket should be your main incentive for performing a good deed, but, you know – worth thinking about. In all seriousness, though, it’s a wonderful story that shows human beings at their very best, and we could all do with a few more of those.
Read the full letter below.
(Main image: Rex)