If the Shoe Fits…

Here’s proof that nice guys don’t finish last. They may, however, finish in second place.

Ivan Fernández Anaya, a long-distance runner, was in the last leg of a cross-country race last month in Spain. There was just one guy in front of him: Abel Mutai, an Olympic bronze medalist from Kenya. But the gap between the two athletes looked impossible to close. That is, until Abel made a boo-boo. The frontrunner thought he’d crossed the finish line – and he suddenly stopped racing.

The thing was, the finish line was still 10 metres ahead of him. Although spectators screamed at Abel to keep running, he doesn’t understand Spanish – not at any decibel level.

That’s when our pal Ivan raced onto the scene. Did he dart past his rival to claim a win? Or did he instead stop and urge Abel across the finish line, content with second place?

I know you know the answer to this, dear reader, because why else would this story be on this blog? Indeed, Ivan kept pace behind the Kenyan athlete until the race was over.

Ivan’s good turn earned him criticism from his coach (who says he would never have made the same choice himself), but the runner doesn’t regret what he did. “I didn’t deserve to win it,” he told a local newspaper. “I did what I had to do. He was the rightful winner… As soon as I saw he was stopping, I knew I wasn’t going to pass him.” Watch the video here. Best race ever.

“Hey buddy, I don’t mean to be a bother, but …”

“Hey buddy, I don’t mean to be a bother, but …”

2 responses to “If the Shoe Fits…

  1. I love this story! What an awesome show of character! Hooray for the good, honorable guys like Ivan who still exist….:)

  2. Thanks for your post! Yes, yay for sportsmanship, and the athletes who still believe in it.

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