Jesse Orach was competing in a 10K run on Saturday morning when he suddenly felt unstable — he was having a heat stroke, and his legs gave out. Orach was leading in the Beach to Beacon 10K run in Maine, but collapsed less than 100 yards from the finish line, according to the Portland Press Herald.
Luckily, his competitor, Robert Gomez, spotted what happened and decided that he couldn't leave Orach by himself.
"For a split second I kept going until I looked and saw it was Jesse," Gomez told the Press Herald. "I couldn’t leave him there. In the running community, I feel camaraderie comes before competitiveness."
Gomez helped Orach to his feet, and not only held him up through the rest of the race, but also gave him a nudge through the finish line first.
"It kind of seemed like it was over for me," Orach told the Press Herald. "Then, I felt someone pick me up."
For Gomez, it only made sense.
"He ran a better race," he told the Press Herald. "He gave it more than I did. I didn’t deserve to win."
"I felt the need to get Jesse to cross the finish line before me because I believe he deserved to win," he added in a statement to Today.
Both men finished the 6.2-mile run in about 31 minutes.
According to the Press Herald, Orach's temperature peaked at 107.3 degrees, and he spent an hour in the medical tent afterward to recover. He didn't discover until then that he had won first place for the second year in a row.
"I didn’t know what to say," he told the Press Herald. 'He got me to the finish line."
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