Struggling runner crosses finish line with competitor’s help

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In this combination photo of images taken, Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017, and released by Ann Kaplan, former University of Maine runner Jesse Orach, is helped across the finish line by fellow competitor Robert Gomez, of Windham, Maine, photo at left, and Orach collapses after reaching the finish line at the 20th Beach to Beacon 10K road race in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. (Ann Kaplan via AP)

PORTLAND, Maine — A competitor who collapsed short of the finish line at Maine’s Beach to Beacon 10K managed to complete the race with the help of a fellow runner.

Former University of Maine runner Jesse Orach says he thought the race was over for him Saturday until he felt someone pick him up. Robert Gomez helped Orach to his feet, and together they crossed the finish line. Then, Orach collapsed again.

The touching moment created a social media buzz.

Gomez told the Portland Press Herald that Orach “gave it more than I did” and deserved to be the top Maine finisher.

They both finished in 31 minutes, 31 seconds.

Orach said he suffered a heat stroke with his core body temperature reaching 107.3 degrees. The humidity Saturday was around 90 percent.

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