BMW Dallas Marathon defending champ Chandler Self wants to win again and run across the finish line this year
Through 24 miles, Chandler Self felt great, on pace to set a personal best and win her hometown marathon. She had more than a two-minute lead on her competition. But in the 25th mile, her quads locked up. "I remember thinking: 'This hurts so bad. The pain won't stop until I cross the finish line,'" recalled Self, a psychiatrist with the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. "I kept pushing, willing my body to keep going." With the finish line in sight, her legs buckled. They wouldn't budge. She tried to get up but collapsed again. And again. And again. A fellow runner gave her a hand up. Self's body was so depleted that she needed a lift and a forward shove to reach the tape. She fell forward across the finish line in 2 hours, 53 minutes, 57 seconds. "It was like getting the wind knocked out of my sails," Self, an avid sailor, said. "And sailing with no wind is no fun. You can't move forward." Video of the finish garnered international attention. People were captivated by one runner's compassion toward another. For Self, who will again be among the elite women next Sunday in the marathon, last year's race represents her most notable career achievement and one of her most humiliating experiences. "The main takeaway for me is that I can fall, and I can get back up again," Self, 33, said. "I'm going to get up and try to run the Dallas Marathon again and cross the finish line strong." Added Self's dad, a marathoner and competitive sailor: "That was a huge learning moment, to sit there 200 yards from the finish line and have your body just collapse on you. It's huge to realize that every once in a while, everybody needs a hand up. Even in winning, you didn't do it all yourself."
posted Tuesday December 4th