Determined Marathoner Rolls Across Finish Line After Collapsing

Last month at a marathon in Washington, Devon Bieling rolled her way across the finish line after collapsing and still earned a BQ.

collapsed runner

Photo: Devon Bieling

You’ve probably heard countless stories of runners who collapse just yards from the finish line only to be picked up and carried by other runners across the line. What you probably haven’t heard, however, is a story quite like this incredible marathon finish.

The viral video comes out of the (aptly named) Tunnel Vision Marathon in Washington last month, where Georgia runner Devon Bieling collapsed just yards from the finish, only to roll across the line with a smile on her face as onlookers cheer.

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The video was originally shared by Philip King, who said in his post: “I witnessed this lady’s body collapse 12 yards short of the finish line. 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. So after falling out flat again she [began] to roll. She finished the whole 26.2 unassisted, even though she had to roll across the finish line.”

Bieling admitted in her own Facebook post that the video did embarrass her at first, but after seeing the positive comments, she became more humbled than anything.

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“I’ve decided the best way to describe this is “Fall seven times, stand up eight”… but if you can’t stand, crawl…and if crawling hurts, you remember Kona videos asap and you roll your ass to a BQ,” she said in the same post. “I know there are a lot of people worried about next weekend (Augusta 70.3), their first race, or things out of our control. Things don’t always go as planned, but you don’t give up. You find or make a way to move forward.”

Support has been pouring in for Bieling as the story makes its rounds, with runners inspired by her grit and tenacity.