The U.S. Marine who crawled across the Boston Marathon finish line in honor of his fallen comrades has been invited to run the New York City Marathon despite not qualifying for the race, according to a report.
Micah Herndon, 31, ran the race in 3 hours and 38 minutes on Monday. With around 4 miles left in the race, his legs began to give out, and with around 100 yards left, his military training kicked in.
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Herndon got to his hands and knees and crawled on the pavement to finish the race. He told The Associated Press it “was the longest 4.2 miles I’ve ever run in my life.”
“It was kind of second nature,” he said. “They instill ‘adapt and overcome.’ Any situation you’re in, that’s what you do.”
Herndon told ABC News’ Good Morning America that he was trying to qualify for the New York City Marathon, which is scheduled for November. But when he realized he couldn’t get his goal pace down, he “just had one mission in mind and that was to finish by myself.”
But despite his race scores, the news outlet reported the marathon operation invited Herndon to join the race anyway.
“I appreciate that. That’s good stuff right there,” Herndon said. “Whoever set that up, thank you.”
The Marine ran the marathon on Monday in honor of Marines Mark Juarez and Matthew Ballard, and British journalist Rupert Hamer, who were killed in Afghanistan by an IED in 2010. During the Boston Marathon, he ran with their names on his hands, his shoes and race bib. They were his inspiration, he said.
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Herndon repeats their names when he’s training or competing in a race, even though he gets strange looks from other runners.
The 31-year-old said “it’s hard to reintegrate into society and be a civilian” after serving overseas, but encouraged other veterans to “find whatever your release is.” He says his “happens to be running.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.