Runner gives up chance to win race to help brother cross finish line
Great Britain’s Alistair Brownlee had a chance to win the final race of the World Triathlon Series in Cozumel on Monday, but he instead chose to help his brother cross the finish line.
Jonny Brownlee, Alistair’s younger brother, could have won the series if he finished in first and Spaniard Mario Mola finished no higher than fourth. Heading into the final kilometer of the 10-kilometer race, Jonny had a comfortable lead and Mola was well behind. Unfortunately, Jonny ran out of steam and began wobbling on his feet.
The elder Brownlee, who was running in third and had a chance to win the race (though not the series), saw that his younger brother was in trouble. Instead of trying to win, Alistair helped Jonny across the finish line.
— World Triathlon (@worldtriathlon) September 19, 2016
“If it happened to anyone I would have helped them across the line because it’s an awful position to be in,” Alistair told the BBC after the race. “If he’d conked out before the finish line and there wasn’t medical support it could have been really dangerous. It was a natural human reaction to my brother but for anyone I would have done the same thing. I think it’s as close to death as you can be in sport.”
Alistair later joked that he wished his “flipping idiot” brother could have just paced himself properly and finished on his own. That didn’t stop Jonny from expressing his gratitude on Twitter:
— Jonathan Brownlee (@jonny_brownlee) September 19, 2016
Mola ended up winning the race and taking home the championship, though he said the circumstances made the victory a little tougher to enjoy.
“When I heard Jonny isn’t feeling well, I thought, ‘I need to fight to the end,'” Mola said. “We want everyone to be safe after the finish line. It’s not the way I wanted it, but that’s triathlon.”
Believe it or not, we’ve even seen runners help injured opponents across the finish line in the past. That was an incredibly admirable and selfless thing of Alistair to do for his brother.