Louisville man helps struggling runner complete Boston Marathon

Louisville Strong: Local runner included in memorable Boston Marathon photo
Updated: Apr. 18, 2017 at 7:54 PM EDT
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(Source: Mike Korfhage)
(Source: Mike Korfhage)
Mike Korfhage ran for The Molly Johnson Foundation at the Boston Marathon. (Source: Mike...
Mike Korfhage ran for The Molly Johnson Foundation at the Boston Marathon. (Source: Mike Korfhage)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Since the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, there are no other races that exhibit the amount of spirit and strength as this one does every year.

>> VIDEO: Watch Katie Bauer's report

What makes it so special are stories that come to light after the race, like the videos and images of fellow runners and service members helping a distraught man during the last leg.

Mike Korfhage is returning to Louisville with another Boston Marathon medal around his neck, but this year's race ended unlike any other.

"It's emotional, too," Korfhage said. "I'm emotional talking about it."

It wasn't a personal best. He didn't reach his goal of finishing in under three hours, and honestly wasn't feeling that great from mile five on. But, it's the last 200 yards that he won't ever forget.

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"I can remember when I turned on to Boylston, which is the finish street, I saw the guy up ahead of me kind of weaving and leaning," Korfhage said.

He caught up to the runner, who was drained and exhausted.

"I looked him in the eye and I said 'Do you want me to get you medical or do you want to finish the Boston Marathon?'" Korfhage recounted. "And he said, kind of dazed, 'I want to finish.'"

Korfhage and three other runners, including two service members came to the man's aid. They scooped him up and carried him across the finish line.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker took a video and posted it on Twitter with the caption, "Unbelievable. #BostonMarathon #BostonStrong"

"I was cramping so bad, but it was almost like I felt it, but there was no way I was stopping and let him down now, so we ran all the way through and you could hear the crowd going crazy," Korfhage said.

It was the essence of Boston Strong and bouncing back four years after the marathon bombing.

Korfhage does have one regret - shedding the shirt of the charity he was running for, The Molly Johnson Foundation, which helps families of children with special needs. The founders, Jojo and Robin Johnson, couldn't help but laugh.

"But come on, can't you keep your keep your shirt on, just for the case of the cause?" Jojo Johnson said.

Johnson said Korfhage leads their running group and has worn the shirt in numerous marathons across the country, building awareness for the non-profit group.

"I wish I still had that shirt on, with all the exposure of this, to have that Team Molly right there on the picture would have been great for them," Korfhage said.

But, he will keep running with purpose, hoping to continue making a difference in more ways than one.

To learn more about The Molly Johnson Foundation, click here.

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