BOSTON, Massachusetts – A Tallmadge native is heading home after an inspirational finish at the Boston Marathon Monday.
Micah Herndon crawled across the finish line as the crowd cheered him on.
“Around mile 20 to 22, that's when both my legs, they locked up,” Herndon told Fox 8 News from Boston Tuesday.
Herndon, who was running the race for the first time, said he was determined to finish on his own despite the pain.
“The only goal then, really, was to finish by myself,” Herndon said. “That last four miles, I just repeated like I always do the names of my brothers.”
The Marine Corps veteran said his inspiration for running comes from the two fellow Marines and a journalist who lost their lives following an IED attack while he was serving in Afghanistan.
Their last names were emblazoned on tags on his running shoes and written on his bib.
“I do have survivors’ guilt; I'm not ashamed of it,” Herndon said. “Those are my scars, those are my wounds, and I don't really care if anyone judges me on that, but my way of dealing and coping with that is running.”
Herndon finished the marathon with a time of three hours, 38 minutes. Even after he fell off the pace of his goal time that would have qualified him for the New York City Marathon, he said he found strength in his fallen friends’ memories.
“What they went through is a lot worse than I can ever go through,” he said. “Whatever your reason for running, mine's for my fallen brothers and their families, do it whole heartedly for that reason.”