“I witnessed this lady’s body collapse 12 yards short of the finishing line. She tried to get backup, but couldn’t stand,” wrote Facebook user Phillip King about a video he took at the Tunnel Vision Marathon in Washington, USA in August. A month later, the incredible story behind the video is an inspiration for many.
The woman in the video is Devon Bieling, a registered nurse from Atlanta. She was at the end of the marathon when her body gave up and she collapsed. Unable to stand up but unwilling to give up, she began crawling on the rocky track. But after 3-4 feet, the gravel cut her knees and she collapsed again in agony. But her journey was far from over. Moments later, she began rolling towards the finishing line. Crowds cheered for the determined runner as she belly-rolled across the finishing line.
“I read the comments and so many people were so nice and said they were inspired and knew they could do something hard in their life. I couldn’t believe it,” she told NDTV.
She explained the moment in a Facebook post featuring the only finish photo from the race which shows her crawling.
“I’ve decided the best way to describe this is “Fall seven times, stand up eight”… but if you can’t stand, crawl…and if crawling hurts, you remember Kona videos asap and you roll your ass to a BQ!!” she wrote in the post.
Ms Beiling finished the race in 3 hours, 34 minutes and 2 seconds. The reason that kept her going towards the finishing line was to qualify for Boston Marathon, the cut off for which is 3 hours, 35 minutes. Ms Beiling has submitted her time to take part in the coveted marathon and is waiting for their response. She says she’s “thankful” for the response she got for the video and even if she doesn’t make it to Boston Marathon, it’s fine.
“This was able to touch people who needed motivation or hope when they may feel like they had none left. I’ve been there and I’m glad it’s turned into a positive news story amidst all the sadness and hate we see everyday!” says Ms Beiling who began running in 2009 but was forced to take a break after a car accident.