It takes grit to run a marathon and Micah Herndon, a Marine who ran the Boston Marathon in honor of three fallen men with whom he served, showed his determination to honor them when he crawled on his hands and knees to the finish line on Monday.
The 31-year-old from Ohio knew that running 26.2 miles was going to be tough but whenever he got tired, or his body started to hurt, he would repeat the names of his fallen comrades. That is what pushed him to drag his aching body along the pavement and over the finish line, Fox News reported.
Mark Juarez, Matthew Ballard, and Rupert Hamer — these are the names that carried Herndon through his race. They were killed by an IED while serving in Afghanistan in 2010. Herndon survived to tell the story.
"I run in honor of them. They are not here anymore. I am here, and I am able," he told the Record-Courier. "I am lucky to still have all my limbs. I can still be active. I find fuel in the simple idea that I can run. Some cannot."
Herndon, a former multi-sport athlete at Southeast, was prepared for the tough battle he would face on the road during the Boston Marathon. He dug deep and when that was not enough, the memory of his comrades carried him through.
"I just keep saying their names out loud to myself. They went through much worse, so I run for them and their families," he told the Record-Courier.
Herndon's Facebook profile is crammed with posts documenting his tough training in preparation for the Boston marathon but at the heart of it all, Juarez, Ballard, and Hamer remind him why he runs.
The blood, sweat and tears paid off in the end. Herndon finished the race in 3 hours and 38 minutes. According to Verywell Fit, the average runner finishes a marathon in 4 hours and 22 minutes. Despite having to crawl over the finish line, Herndon was well ahead of the pack.
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