Central New York Runner Stops During Race to Help Blind Competitor
A Central New York athlete showed his selflessness when he stopped during a race to help a fellow runner to the finish line.
Cross-country running can be a solitary sport: each runner tries to achieve their best time in the hope that it will contribute to the team's performance. In the final yards of a race, runners are focused on digging down for that last bit of strength to get to the finish line. They're seldom focused on other athletes, except to pass or be passed.
At a cross-country race this week, Jake Tobin, a Cazenovia High School athlete showed his true character when he stopped to help a vision-impaired athlete who slipped just after passing Jake heading toward a hill on the course. Jake didn't hesitate when he saw Luke Fortner, from Fairport High School, slip. He ran over, helped his competitor to his feet, and together, Luke, Jake, and Luke's aide crossed the finish line.
The Cazenovia Central school District posted about the incident on their Facebook page, sharing comments from another person who witnessed the events: "Wanted to write your school to tell you how impressed I was by your XC team member today at the Auburn Invitational. He was running towards the finish when a Fairport team member passed him. The crowd was cheering for the Fairport team member due to his vision impairment. Your XC team member did not only cheer and clap for him as the student tried to run up the hill in front of him, but stopped and helped him to his feet when he slipped. These are not the best pictures, but wanted to commend him and his great sportsmanship he showed to his fellow competitor."
These two young men set a great example - sometimes, even in the heat of competition, it's more important to be kind than it is to win.