On his hands and knees, one distinct military veteran used every last part of him to crawl his way to the finish line of the Boston Marathon, finishing the race in honor of his late fellow service members.
At the 2019 Boston Marathon on Monday, U.S. Marine veteran Micah Herndon, 31, endured the pain of his legs cramping up starting at mile 22 of the 26.2-mile race.
The intense moment during his third marathon caused Herndon to fall short of qualifying for the New York City Marathon. However, he was surprised with an unexpected gift on “Good Morning America” (GMA) on Wednesday.
Watch the video below:
Micah Herndon, a former Marine who survived an IED explosion in Afghanistan in 2010, collapsed and crawled to the finish at the Boston Marathon.
— ESPN (@espn) April 16, 2019
“After I knew I couldn’t get my goal pace that I wanted, cause I was trying to qualify for the New York City Marathon, after that I just had one mission in mind and that was to finish by myself,” Herndon told GMA.
“The reason that I run is for the fallen brothers,” Herdon said. “… I was just telling myself really when times get tough, throughout the race, I repeat their last names.”
The veteran runs to honor his Marine friends, who he lost while serving in Afghanistan. He wears their last names on tags on his shoelace in remembrance and motivation. Two of the nametags are of his late Marine friends and one of a journalist.
Herdon served as a lead machine-gunner in Iraq in 2008 and Afghanistan in 2009, according to GMA.
Running was a source of coping with post-traumatic stress disorder for Herndon after his service, according to ABC News, as well as a way to honor his fallen service members.
See his comments below:
— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 17, 2019
GMA’s host Robin Roberts surprised the veteran with an invitation to run in the New York City Marathon. Herdon responded, “That’s good stuff right there. I appreciate that. Whoever set that up, thank you.”
“It’s for them and their families,” Herndon said of his fallen soldiers. “I’m just really happy that I’m able to share their story and honor them because that’s what matters.”
“I will have setbacks in life. I will go backwards,” Herndon told ABC News. “But it’s how you respond going forward.”