A Boston Marathon runner who gave away his medal to a woman who was unable to finish has been identified. Laura Wellington was about a mile from the finish line when the bombs exploded. Stunned and distressed, she was unable to finish the race. A man, later identified as Brent Cunningham, comforted her and gave her his medal.
Wellington, age 25, was too distraught to ask the the man for his name. She reassured her family that she was unharmed and eventually returned home. However, she could not forget the kindness of the stranger.
Utilizing her Facebook page and the media, Wellington relayed her story in hopes that she could identify the thoughtful man.
She shared the story with the Huffington Post, discussing how the man and his wife stopped to comfort her:
“At that moment, a couple walking by stopped … The man then asked me if I finished, to which I nodded ‘no.’ He then proceeded to take the medal off from around his neck and placed it around mine. He told me, ‘You are a finisher in my eyes.'”
Wellington’s efforts to identify the Boston Marathon runner, who gave away his medal, paid off. As reported by TheStar.com, the Good Samaritan was identified as 46-year-old Brent Cunningham of Sitka, Alaska.
Cunningham and Wellington exchanged messages via Facebook but have not spoken on the phone or face to face since the day of the marathon. Cunningham says he is not a hero as he simply did what felt right. He never expected the young woman would track him down to say thank you.
Cunningham is the regional director of a Christian outreach group called Alaska Young Life. Completing the Boston Marathon was a dream come true Cunningham. However, he will not be returning next year as he did not qualify.
The Boston Marathon runner explains that he gave his medal away as Wellington needed it and he did not. He pointed out that his “whole life is about loving God and loving others.”