On Oct. 11, hundreds of runners competed in a cross-country race in Minnesota. Melanie Bailey should have finished the course earlier than she did. Her delay came because she was carrying a competitor across the finish line.
As reported by a local newspaper, Bailey was more than two-thirds of the way through her race when a runner in front of her began crying in pain. She stopped to help her fellow runner, Danielle Lenoue. Bailey took her arm to see if she could walk forward with aid. She couldn’t. Bailey then bent down to let Lenoue climb onto her back and carried her all the way to the finish line, then another 300 feet to where Lenoue could get medical attention.
Once there, Lenoue was assessed and later taken to a hospital, where she learned that she had serious injuries in one of her knees. She would have struggled with extreme pain to make it to that aid checkpoint without Bailey’s help.
As for Bailey, she is more confused about why her act is considered a big deal. “She was just crying. I couldn’t leave her,” Bailey told the reporter. “I feel like I was just doing the right thing.”
Although the two young women were strangers before the meet, they’ve since become friends. Neither won the race, but the display of human kindness won the day.