Westport Half-Marathon Sparks Question: Would You Stop to Help a Fallen Runner?
One by one, the runners of the Horseneck Half-Marathon crossed the finish line with smiles and sore legs.
On Sunday, May 21, hundreds of runners from all across the SouthCoast, state and beyond made their way down to Horseneck Beach in Westport to run 13.1 or 3.5 miles (depending on the race they signed up for). This year, rather than running, I was a spectator and a supporter.
My fiancée returned to the world of running after years of knee issues just to complete the half-marathon with a personal record. Not to sound biased, but I couldn't be prouder of her, just as I was of every runner who showed up to put in the work.
I spoke to a few runners post-race One told me she encountered a woman who fell in front of her halfway through.
"Did you stop to help her or keep going?" I asked out of curiosity.
"I stopped immediately and stayed with the woman for a good six minutes until help arrived," she replied.
I found it very admirable, to say the least, and began wondering what others would do in this situation.
As competitive as I am, I know for a fact that I would stop to help, regardless of how long I prepared for the race. It's just in my blood and I would feel guilty continuing.
I turned to Facebook for a broader response.
The question I posed:
If you're running a race and someone falls in front of you, do you stop to help them or keep running?
The responses were just about unanimous. Only a couple of people claimed they would keep running for personal reasons. The majority would not hesitate to stop.
Jason Ray said:
"Absolutely, no matter what. There is no greater reward than being a good person."
Tim Lee-Carter weighed in:
"No, I'm running a race, and all the participants are responsible for themselves, which is the essence and purpose of a race."
However, Jaime Orrell made a solid point that it all depends on the scenario and situation.
"It depends, and I know that sounds awful. If it’s for the Olympics, probably not, but if it’s just a race for fun or practice or if you can tell they got hurt, I’m stopping. Probably the only way I wouldn’t is if I see it’s a minor fall and it’s like a career-winning race. But let’s be real... I’ll never find out, because I'll never sign up for a race."
What are your thoughts? I'd love to keep the conversation going, so email me at Gazelle@107.com or send a message on the Fun 107 App. Would you stop or keep going?