Selfless Stuart helps exhausted runner

Alnwick Harrier Stuart Morris, left, and Innes Hodgson help an exhausted Mark Burnett across the finishline at the Manchester Half Marathon.
Alnwick Harrier Stuart Morris, left, and Innes Hodgson help an exhausted Mark Burnett across the finishline at the Manchester Half Marathon.

A selfless Alnwick Harrier showed amazing sportsmanship by sacrificing his own race to help an exhausted runner cross the finish line.

Stuart Morris was on the home straight of last month’s Manchester Half Marathon when he saw stricken competitor Mark Burnett.

With about 25 metres to go, the 43-year-old joined Innes Hodgson, of Washington Running Club, to help the tired athlete complete the race.

Stuart, who is a vet at Alnwick’s Morris and Plumley, said: “Mark’s legs had just gone. I saw Innes helping him, but he looked like he wasn’t able to hold onto him, so I took Mark’s other arm to offer more support.

“We got him over the finish line, stood him up on some barriers and the medics came. He said a few thank-yous, but he was absolutely whacked.”

Alnmouth-based Stuart, was hoping to finish in a time of about one-hour, 40 minutes. He clocked 1:40:45.

His actions have prompted praise on the Alnwick Harriers’ Facebook page, with team mates describing him as a hero and saying that he did the club proud.

Stuart’s efforts were reminiscent of scenes at the end of this year’s London Marathon, when Swansea Harrier Matthew Rees hit the headlines after he stopped short of the finishing line to help exhausted David Wyeth, of Chorlton Runners, complete the race.