One Courageous Crawl
April 18, 2019
It’s the crawl seen round the country. Micah Herndon’s legs gave out, but his spirit refused to give up.
Determined to finish this year’s Boston Marathon in memory of three fallen military comrades, the Ohio Edison Substation Electrician and Marine Corps. veteran ran a steady race before collapsing near the end. He could have easily given up, but instead chose to painstakingly crawl the last few feet to the finish line unaided.
For Micah, the Boston Marathon was more than a race. It was a personal mission he needed to complete. The fallen three, who served with him during an Afghanistan tour, were his close friends. Micah completed the April 15 race as a tribute to their service and sacrifice, displaying the men’s names – Mark Juarez, Matthew Ballard and Rupert Hamer – on tags tied to his running shoes.
The story has since gone viral, garnering Micah attention from a national media spotlight that includes interviews on NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA) and coverage in The Boston Globe, CNN, USA Today, Sports Illustrated and The Washington Post, among a host of other publications.
His courageous act also trended on social media, with posts branding the hashtag #marine. Former ESPN Sports Analyst Darren Rovell of The Action Network said it best in a simple tweet referring to Micah’s iron-will determination: “This is guts personified.”
During his GMA appearance, host Robin Roberts presented Micah with an unexpected invite: a coveted spot to compete in this year’s New York City marathon come November.
As Micah explained in his interviews, he started running several years ago as a release mechanism. The sport helped him cope with post-traumatic stress disorder after tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He completed several half marathons and three full marathons before qualifying for Boston, where his emotional finish hit close to home for so many across the nation.
“I feel like if I am not running, then I am doing something wrong with my life,” said Micah in an interview with Record-Courier based in Kent, Ohio. “If I get a heat cramp while running or my feet hurt or I am getting exhausted, I just keep saying their names out loud to myself. They went through much worse, so I run for them and their families.”