NYC Marathon

NYC Marathon Runner Helped to Finish Line After Collapsing in Final Meters

A simple gesture near the race's finish line may be one of the marathon's most memorable moments

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After more than three hours hitting the pavement, Jamel Melville struggled to stay on his feet for the final meters of Sunday's New York City Marathon.

The 39-year-old had nearly completed the 26.2 race — only a couple hundreds meters left to go — when he collapsed short of the finish line.

"I knew I was close to the finish line. I didn't have that much longer to go, it was painful," Melville told News 4 the next day.

Melville remembers the intense closing moments at the 50th running of the TCS New York City Marathon.

"Two hundred meters from the finish line I ran into some difficulties. I had been slowing my pace a little bit. I hit the proverbial wall, I didn't have it anymore," he remembers.

Broken down from 26 miles of running through five boroughs and Central Park, Melville laid on the ground for mere moments before he was met with help from his fellow racers.

"I know one of the runners passed me on my left and as he passed he sort of looked back and made up his mind to come help me," Melville said.

Marathon runner Jamel Melville is helped up by several others near the end of the race course.
Marathon runner Jamel Melville is helped up by several others near the end of the race course.

That moment of kindness was caught on camera and was quickly seen by hundreds of thousands who recognized the generous act. After a group of runners helped lift Melville from the ground, two people helped walk him the to the finish line.

"That's a very selfless thing, especially when you have your goals and your times," Melville's girlfriend, Ty Givens, said. She saw the whole scene unfold from the grandstands in Central Park.

Melville, a Queens native who played multiple sports in his high school and college years, feels immensely proud he was able to cross the finish line. But he's also admittedly very sore.

"I'm gonna hold on to this for a long time and cherish the experience that I had going through what I went through," he said.

A Yale University psychology grad who he picked up his passion for running marathons in the past couple of years says he has now turned it into a lifestyle.

Monday afternoon, Melville and his girlfriend were on their way to take his marathon medal to be engraved before taking in the rest of the sights of the Big Apple. Unsurprisingly, he's already thinking about returning for the 51st marathon.

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