London Marathon runner carried over finish line by fellow runner

Updated: April 23, 2017, 11:22 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

A runner who carried an exhausted fellow athlete over the London Marathon finish line says helping another runner to the end was more important than his race time.

Matthew Rees encountered staggering racer David Wyeth as the pair rounded the final stretch in front of Buckingham Palace on Sunday.

To raucous cheers, Rees, 29, put his fatigued rival's arm around his neck and hauled Wyeth to the end of the 26.2-mile course. The pair then separated.

"I took the final corner thinking, 'right, it's nearly done, time to sprint,' and I saw this guy and his legs just crumbled below him," Rees said. "I saw him try to stand up again and his legs just went down again, and I thought, 'This is more important, getting him across the line is more important than shaving a few seconds off my time.'

Adrian Dennis/Getty ImagesMatthew Rees, left, made sure David Wyeth, center, reached the finish line at the London Marathon on Sunday.

"I went over to try and help him, and every time he tried to get up, he just fell down again and again, so I just tried to cheer him on, picked him up and said, 'Come on, we can do this'. He was really grateful, but he wasn't very coherent."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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