NORTH BEND, Wash. — One woman’s determination to finish what she started has become an inspiration to countless others.
After running 26 miles, Devon Bieling collapsed just a few yards from the finish line.
“I witnessed this lady’s body collapse 12 yards short of the finish line,” Phillip King wrote on Facebook.
“She tried to get back up, but couldn’t stand. After not being able to stand, she began to crawl. After crawling 3 or 4 feet, the sharp gravel rocks cut her knees until the pain wouldn’t allow her to crawl,” King wrote.
When she couldn’t crawl any farther, Bieling started rolling, side over side, across the ground toward the finish line.
“She finished the whole 26.2 unassisted, even though she had to roll across the finish line,” King wrote. “Always Keep Moving Forward No Matter What!!!”
The crowd cheered as she finished the race.
“So encouraging… the spirit of a marathon,” one person commented.
“The true meaning of fighting to the finish,” another wrote.
Bieling said she was embarrassed about the video at first — and was shocked when she discovered it had been shared and viewed thousands of times.
“I’ve been so hard on myself and then I read all the nice things people were saying and how they were inspired and it was making them believed in themselves while in PT or recovering or taking tests,” Bieling wrote on Facebook. “I was embarrassed and humbled even more than I’d thought I’d ever be.”
Bieling commented on King’s post and shared photos of her bloody hands, knees and elbows after the race.
“Much better now. Scars are stories,” she wrote.
Bieling said she hit her goal of getting a qualifying time but was still waiting to find out if it was good enough to advance to the next race.
“Keep me in your thoughts and prayers this month and if it’s not a go next year I’ll be there 2019!” Bieling wrote.