Tuesday 19 November 2019

Irish 'hero' fireman carries runner to finish line in Boston Marathon

Claire Williamson

It was a moment of selflessness that saw a Northern Ireland firefighter branded a hero as he carried a struggling runner to the Boston marathon finish line.

Crew Commander Terry Canning for Omagh Station completed the gruelling marathon in an impressive 3 hours and 34 minutes on Monday.

But as temperatures soared above 65F (26 degrees) and at one point hit 79 degrees at the 20-kilometre mark - it took its toll on competitors.

As well as competing for the best time, they were battling with the balmy heat with hardly a cloud in the sky.

The marathon covers a gruelling 26 miles from Hopkinton to Boston.

Several racers' body temperatures reached 107, and the highest was 108.8.

Among those who succumbed to the heat just moments from the finish line was New Jersey runner Julianne Bowe.

She was being helped along by Terry and Mario Vargas of Chile when her legs began to buckle.

And in an instant the Northern Ireland firefighter scooped her up in his arms and carried her the remainder of the way.

However in a poignant moment he sets her down as they approach the finish line and lets her cross it herself.

He has been hailed a hero as the incredible moment was captured on video.

It has been viewed more than a million times.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said he was a "true hero home and away".

A spokesman said: "Well done to our Crew Commander Terry Canning from Omagh Fire Station.

"Terry your actions truly epitomise the essence of Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service. You are a real hero at home and away. We are all so very proud of your selfless act. Congratulations on a fantastic finishing time too."

Terry  was running in support of the Enda Dolan foundation.

He wore a vest in memory of the 18-year-old who was killed in his first term at Queen's University when he was struck by a van in October 2014.

The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's most prestigious road racing events.

According to Boston Marathon medical director Chris Troyanos, 2,358 people were treated as of about 4 p.m. – 942 on the course and 1,416 in the finish line medial tents.

Belfast Telegraph

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