Officer helps injured Rock 'n' Roll Marathon runner cross finish line

Officer helps injured rock n roll marathon runner cross finish line.
Published: Nov. 9, 2015 at 11:22 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 9, 2015 at 11:22 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A special moment that took place at the 2015 Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in Savannah has gone viral – all over the world.

It's a picture showing a Savannah-Chatham Metro officer helping a runner cross the finish line.

We heard from the officer on Sunday, but now we are hearing from that runner for the first time, and we learned about what motivated him to finish the race.

"My face feels alright, but my calves are a little sore," said marathon runner, Robert McCoy.

McCoy, bruised and sore, is already anxious for his next race. Over the weekend, with less than half-a-mile left in the half marathon, McCoy collapsed, busting open his face and leaving his knees bloodied.

"I knew I had to get up. I knew that. I was kind of doing this for my dad. He passed in April of this year, and I was just trying to get this done for him," said McCoy.

He drew motivation from his dad, who passed away after a battle with cancer. McCoy, a cancer survivor himself, knows about challenges. What he didn't know, is that he would not have to face this one on his own. Sergeant John Cain came running to help.

"Hearing his plea to finish that race, I knew I had to help," said Sgt. John Cain, SCMPD.

Several tried to tell McCoy to stop and stay down to get help, but the duo pushed on.

"I was encouraging him and telling him, 'come on, we are almost there.' He told me he wanted to run and I said 'not too fast, 'cause you will leave me behind," the officer said.

McCoy, who does not remember much, does remember those words - pushing him to finish.

"I do remember that, he kept saying, 'you got this."

"I do not think I had a chance to thank the sergeant, because they threw me in a wheelchair and took me to the medic," said McCoy.

The photo and story has gone viral - something neither one of them had thought or planned.

"It has emotionally touched me to the point where I feel it here," the sergeant said, touching his heart.

As for McCoy, there is no "taking a break."

"Running keeps me going. I just want to run. I am not used to the media thing. I just want to run," McCoy said.

McCoy said his phone actually locked up over the weekend with all the messages and friend requests he was getting. He also decided to give Sgt. Cain his medal from the race.

So, if a picture says a thousand words…well, you get the idea.

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