The young runner’s help was legal and had a profound effect on the outcome of the race.
When Ariana Luterman signed up for the Dallas Marathon as part of a relay team, she had her own agenda. The goal of the high schoolers was to compete with the fastest runners in the race, hoping that, in shifts, the team could best the time of the top individuals running.
However, during Luterman’s leg of the relay, covering the final miles, she saw the leading woman, Chandler Self, struggling. Faced with the choice of surpassing the struggling leader or compromising her team’s finish time to help, Luterman chose to run beside Self for the duration of the race, even propping her new running partner up as Self’s legs gave out in the feet leading up to the finish line.
Here's video from today's awesome moment when 17-year-old Ariana helped women's division champ Chandler Self get ac… https://t.co/Cri6te2cQ8— Allie Spillyards (@Allie Spillyards) 1512945924.0
Speaking to The Dallas Morning News following the race, Luterman offered insight into her decision. “Right when I caught up with her at the [relay team’s] 21/2-mile mark, I told her: ‘Just so you know, the high school relay is out here to compete with you guys,’” she said. “I’m going to be your pacer. We’re going to get you that win.”
Per the newspaper’s account of the marathon’s rules, runners aren’t allowed to receive assistance from those not participating, but the rulebook is silent on whether help is allowed from other runners. It seems the issue is moot, as the runner-up to the victorious Self, Caitlin Keen, has said she has no desire to challenge or contest the official race results.
While Luterman might not get a medal for her efforts, she’s receiving a lot of credit and appreciation from the sports world in the wake of her selfless gesture.
@AllieSpillyards @NBCDFW @DallasMarathon What a champion Ariana is! We’ll look for great things from her in the future.— M A Duffy (@M A Duffy) 1512946878.0