We have spoken in the past about some class act athletes and the way they have showed sportsmanship; often it costs them something, a win, or a place. In this case it took a runner to the very back of the pack, but to him there was no other choice. Penn High School Runner Ben Boardley has earned himself some international attention for what he did at the State Finals for the Cross-Country meet in Indianapolis, Indiana.
It happened this past Saturday, during a state cross-country meet in Terre Haute, as Ben was approaching the finish line, he noticed a fellow runner from another school, a Faizan Khan, had fallen and was struggling to get back to his feet. Faizan appeared to be almost completely exhausted, he says he was suffering from seasonal allergies, and he didn’t seem capable of finishing the race on his own. Ben ran up to him, grabbed his arm, pulled him to his feet and the two set off to the finish line together.
See this tweeted video.
The video of the moment doesn’t follow them to the end of the race, but you can see them arm in arm as they move off camera and reports of what happened conclude that the two did in fact finish the race, just at the back of the pack.
When asked why he would abandon his position to aid another runner, Ben says “I just kind of saw it and did it.” Boardley continued, “I guess that’s how my parents raised me. They taught me to treat others how I’d want to be treated, and to be helpful when I can.” He finally added “I knew if that was me, I wanted to make sure I’d finish at state.” And it is that care and kindness for no other reason that it is right that is your Good News Story of the Day, find it here.
Khan expressed his appreciation afterward, saying he now knows what Boardley’s “true character is like.” Which is true, it’s not the people who help you to gain something that you learn about, it’s those who help when no one sees, or who help when it costs them, those are the ones you know better afterward.
As a note; race officials looked at the incident and concluded neither would be disqualified over the gesture. According to the IHSAA, the official applied NFHS Rule 4-6-5: “A competitor who provides assistance to an injured or ill competitor should not be disqualified if neither the individual competitor providing the assistance nor his/her team gains an advantage as a result of providing the assistance.”
Story and Image from the Indianapolis Star.