A West Philly man in Monday’s Boston Marathon slowed himself to help a fellow runner – whose legs gave out from under him – cross the finish line.
Jim Driscoll, 25, had already missed his target goal of completing the race in under three hours, so when Ari Ofsevit of Cambridge, Mass. nearly collapsed near the finish line, Driscoll and one other ran to his aid.
“Me and the other guy, Mitch, put [Ofsevit's] arms around our shoulders and carried him about 100 yards to the finish line,” said Driscoll.
“We yelled for medical and the medical staff got right over and scooped him up from us.”
Even the Boston Marathon winner, Meb Keflezighi, praised Driscoll and his comrade, Mitch Kies, 37, for his lending a hand.
Driscoll ended up finishing the race in three hours, five minutes, 11 seconds (3.05.11). Kies finished in three hours, four minutes and 41 seconds (3:04:41). And despite needing a little help getting to the end, Ofsevit finished with the fastest time of the trio at three hours, three minutes and five seconds (3:03:05).
Driscoll, who has run the Philadelphia Marathon three times, said he ran the Boston Marathon last year, too, but this year’s weather was significantly taxing on the runners because of the heat.
“I think the heat got to a whole lot of people this year. This was the first marathon I ever walked in,” he said.
"I wasn’t going to meet my goal, so the time at the moment didn’t particularly matter. I probably only wasted 30 to 45 seconds doing this and it didn’t mean anything to me at the time.”
Driscoll said he’d heard from medics at the scene that Ofsevit suffered from severe heatstroke and ended up spending the night in a Boston hospital. Driscoll said he believed he was still there as of Tuesday afternoon. Ofsevit could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
“He was non-responsive [at the finish line],” said Driscoll.
“There were a lot of people passing out from heat, but this was a particularly bad case. When we were carrying him, he was not able to support any of his own weight.
“Mine is not the only example of things like this happening at the Boston Marathon or any marathon. It happens all the time,” Driscoll went on to say.
“There are many good people out there.”