Video:Kenyan runner collapses and crawls to finish line in US
Ngetich, 29, who was leading the women runners for most of the race, started losing steam and her body began giving up on her with about two kilometers remaining in the race.
She, however, continued running while stumbling and seemingly weak.
With the finish line in sight, Ng’etich was clearly overwhelmed and came crashing down on the tarmac in downtown Austin, a city about 320 kilometers south of Dallas.
Ngetich was determined not to quit the race even as she was on her knees in obvious pain. After a brief pause while on her hands and knees and with her forehead on the ground, she started an agonizing crawl toward the finish line.
The crowd gasped while some shed tears upon seeing her determination to finish the race in her condition. They cheered her on as she made several stops to catch her breath crawling slowly.
A nurse kept a close watch on Ng’etich as she continued crawling but made sure that a wheel chair was close in case she could not continue any longer. Both the nurse and the marathon officials refrained from helping her out, which would have led to her disqualification.
Ngetich eventually crossed the finish line still on her hands and knees.
“Oh, God, thank you, I crossed,” Ng’etich told reporters at the marathon. “For the last two kilometers, I don’t remember. Finish line, I have no idea,” said Ngetich.
Race Director John Conley watched in amazement as Ngetich crossed the line.
“When she came around the corner on her hands and knees, I have never, in 43 years of being involved in this sport, seen a finish like that,” he told FOX 7 TV in Austin.
Crowley walked over to Ngetich and told her that she had earned the second-place prize money that she lost when her body gave in.
“You have ran the bravest race and crawled the bravest crawl I have ever seen in my life. You have earned much honour, and I am going to adjust your prize money, so you can get the prize money you would have gotten if you were second,” he told her.
Before collapsing, Ng’etich was in second place, behind another Kenyan runner, Cynthia Jerop, who went on to win the women’s race with a time of 2:54:21.
American runner Hannah Steffan raced past Ng’etich as she was about to cross the finish line. She finished with a time of 3:03:69. Ng’etich finished with a time of 3:04:02.
The men’s race was won by Kenya’s Bertram Keter, who posted 2:16:20.
The race attracted 15,000 runners from 40 countries.