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Dallas Marathon women’s winner gets a helping hand at finish line

Runners compete in the Cowtown Marathon in Fort Worth on Feb. 26. The Dallas Marathon was held Sunday with a dramatic finish in the women’s division.
Runners compete in the Cowtown Marathon in Fort Worth on Feb. 26. The Dallas Marathon was held Sunday with a dramatic finish in the women’s division. Special to the Star-Telegram

Marathons can be unbearably grueling ... and incredibly rewarding.

Just ask Chandler Self, who won the women’s division of the BMW Dallas Marathon on Sunday after literally crawling across the finish line, NBC 5 reported.

And Self needed a big assist from 17-year-old Ariana Luterman, who attends Dallas Greenhill Academy and was running for the elite high school relay. Luterman helped Self up as she collapsed several times while approaching the finish line.

Luterman said she caught up with Self at the 2.5-mile mark as part of the relay and told her, “I’m going to be your pacer,” the Dallas Morning News reported. “We’re going to get you that win.”

And she did as Luterman pushed Self out in front of her “so she could cross the tape before I did,” she said in a post-race interview.

“I just couldn’t help but think she worked so many months. You can be training years for a marathon.”

Self, who finished the race in 2 hours, 53 minutes, 58 seconds, was immediately treated by marathon staff after the race and returned minutes later to express her fortune and gratitude.

“She was so encouraging, I knew she was right, and I wanted it so bad and this was just a dream for me,” Self said.

Luterman said she simply was doing the right thing at the right time.

“There are opportunities to help everyone everywhere,” she said.

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