Long distance running is a grueling battle of endurance, both mental and physical. At the Beach to Beacon 10K race in Maine, one runner found out how hard it could be, only to be picked up by one of his peers.
Jesse Orach was so close to the finish line that he could smell it. Orach is a 23-year-old runner from Gorham, Maine. As he approached the end of the 6.2-mile race, heat stroke got the best of Orach. Fortunately for him, one of his fellow racers had a compassionate heart and, not only helped him to his feet but helped him finish the race.
Robert Gomez wanted Orach to win the race, so he gave him a gentle nudge across the finish line. Gomez said afterward, “He ran a better race. He gave it more than I did. I didn’t deserve to win.” Time keepers saw it otherwise as both men completed the course in 31 minutes and 31 seconds.
Orach and Gomez were neck and neck for the first mile, but Gomez fell 30 seconds behind and could not keep up with the leader. The next time Gomez saw Orach, he was surrounded by medical personnel and laying in the grass. He thought about continuing but realized it was Orach and felt compelled to stop.
With under 100 yards left to the end, Orach’s legs gave out on him, and he collapsed to the ground. He said that he started feeling uneasy with about 400 yards to go and that his core temperature reached around 107 degrees.
Jesse’s mom Brenda could not believe what Robert did for her son. She said, “This guy here, what he did was so selfless. You don’t see that very often.”
The TD Beach to Beacon 10K is one of the biggest races in Maine and all of New England. It helps benefit multiple children’s charities in the state. Joan Benoit Samuelson founded the race in 1998. She is a former Boston Marathon winner and one of Maine’s most recognizable female athletes.