"I won't leave you if you don't leave me..."
2 women finish the Pittsburgh Marathon dead last, but with a precious new friendship
There was a point when Laura Mazur of New Bremen, Ohio, and Jessica Robertson, of Braddock, Pennsylvania wondered if they would be able to finish Sunday's Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon. By mile 25, seven hours in, the two women were the last people on the course, barely jogging, and marathon organizers were ready to shut it down.
That's when the two women took strength in each other. Robertson, who was running her first marathon, and Mazur, who was running in her 12th, clasped hands and crossed the finish line together. Daniel Heckert, a coach with the Steel City Road Runners took a picture, which has gone viral on social media.
"They started holding hands right before they got to the mile 25 cheer station," Heckert told CBS station KDKA-T V. "I just wanted to capture the moment that showed these two ladies were going to finish the same race that the winner did."
Robertson was running in her first marathon and didn't think she was going to be able to finish. "I thought to myself, I'm not going to make it. There's literally no one else out here but me and I can't do this by myself, I just can't," she told KDKA's Susan Koeppen
At mile 14, Robertson met Mazur, who was running in her 12th marathon.
"She said, 'I'll make you a promise. I won't leave you if you don't leave me. And no matter what, we will cross [the finish line] together.' And I said, 'Well, I won't leave you because I can't do this alone,'" Robertson explained to Koeppen.
"It isn't about finishing first, it's about helping each and every person changing their lives for the better." Dan Hecker
Both women agree that their bond will last beyond the marathon finish line. As Robertson put it to KDKA's Koeppen. "It wasn't about gender. It wasn't really about race. It wasn't about religion. None of that mattered. We were just two individuals, two humans who had a goal in mind and we leaned on each other to get there."
(Image: Dan Heckert Facebook page )