Dallas Marathon winner crosses the finish line -- with a teen's timely assist

Sunday's running of the Dallas Marathon brought a true show of sportsmanship when a young relay runner helped the winner cross the finish line.

Chandler Self, 32, told WFAA that she was leading the pack for the final eight miles of the 26.2-mile race, but with about a mile still to go, her legs started to give out. Video of the race showed the runner fall a number of times, with her legs buckling.

But assistance came from an unlikely place as Ariana Luterman, a teenager competing in a separate race, lent a helping hand and escorted the soon-to-be winner over the finish line, the outlet said.


“The only thing I could think of to do was to pick her up, so I picked her up and I think she was a little confused at first,” Luterman, a high schooler, said in an interview with Dallas News. “I picked her up with like all my might and right when we got to the finish line, I just kind of pushed her in front of me so she would be the one to cross that line.”

The pair are seen on tape making it to just before the end of the track before Self collapsed again. In a desperate attempt to finish, Luterman helped her with those final steps before she lunged for the finish tape.

“The only thing I could think of to do was to pick her up, so I picked her up and I think she was a little confused at first."

— Ariana Luterman

Medics rushed to Self's aid as she fell again, quickly putting her in a wheelchair and taking her to a medical tent, WFAA reported.


Following the finish, race organizers debated the victory but ultimately decided to award Self the title, believing she would have won regardless, HuffPost reported. Marathon officials said she finished with an unofficial time of 2 hours, 53 minutes and 58 seconds.

Self told WFAA that she’s pleased with how things turned out because she believes that “people see it as someone accomplishing their dreams, and we should all try and do that.”

“It’s not how many times you fall, it’s about how many times you get back up,” she said. “That’s what makes you a winner.”