Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Jr. high runner carries injured twin across finish line (PHOTO)

They were a pair of runners who came in tied for dead last in an 880-meter race but that didn't stop the the crowd was standing on their feet in anticipation.

Thirteen-year-old twin sisters Chloe and Claire Gruenke had been competing in the race at the Southern Illinois State Track Meet when Chloe felt something pop and went down.

"I thought oh my goodness what just happened," Claire told "I went up to her and I said 'Chloe are you okay?' and she was like 'I don't know. Something just pulled in my leg.'"

Claire didn't call for help, nor did she wish her sister better luck next time and run off to finish the race. She did something siblings do when one is in trouble — carry them.

"I put her on my back, and then I started to jog. I got really tired, so I walked the rest and the crowd was just blaring in my ears," said Claire. "That gave me energy to at least finish it."

The photos of Claire carrying Chloe the last 370 meters of the race went viral on social media this week:

Just before the finish line, Claire put her injured sister down and told her to cross first, but Chloe wasn't going to let that happen. Instead, they crossed at the same time.

"They didn't win the race, but they won the hearts of everyone in the audience," their coach, Ted Crail, said. "I've been coaching for 20 years. This was the first time I ever had tears in my eyes at one of the meets."

The two finished last, but they've shown everyone that it's not where you finish, but how you do it.

“It's about showing compassion, love and sportsmanship, even if you lose and help somebody it's still worth it," Claire told KTVI.

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