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With a win in sight, runner selflessly helps collapsed division leader to finish

“He ran a better race...He gave it more than I did," says the runner of the selfless act

Beach to Beacon 10K

The Maine division champion at the Beach to Beacon 10K collapsed with 100m to go when all of a sudden he “felt someone pick me up.”

Robert Gomez was trailing Jesse Orach at the Cape Elizabeth, Maine road race when, according to the Portland Press Herald, Orach “collapsed from heat stroke.” The two were in a battle to win the Maine division, a category within the overall elite race which Joan Benoit Samuelson founded.

RELATED: Cam Levins continues comeback from injury, runs 29:24 at Maine 10K.

Gomez, trailing Orach by some 30 seconds, caught up to Orach near the finish and helped him up from the ground and ran with him for the final 100m, offering a shove from behind. The two finished within a second of each other with Orach, 23, prevailing in 31:31 on Saturday.

“He ran a better race. He gave it more than I did,” Gomez told the Portland Press Herald. “I didn’t deserve to win.”


Here's some video of the most touching moment from today's TD Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race.

Posted by TD Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race on Saturday, August 5, 2017

“What you see here is the epitome of sportsmanship and selflessness and caring,” the race writes in recapping the finish. “Jesse Orach (Maine singlet), 23 and a recent University of Maine grad, had built a strong lead this morning but was struggling to finish and win the Maine Division title. His only close competitor, Robert Gomez (Dirigo singlet), sees Jesse’s in trouble but rather than breeze past him in the chute to win his first Maine title in 10 tries, the 34-year-old stops to offer assistance and gets Jesse across the finish line in first, sacrificing his own glory (and $$$). Does it get any better than that?”

The Portland Press Herald reports that Orach’s core temperature was 41.6 C (107.3 F) in the medical tent.