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Crawl or nothing FINAL; Marathon hero drags himself 4 miles on his knees to honour the Mirror's Rupert Hamer and fallen comrades.

Byline: CHRISTOPHER BUCKTIN USEDITOR

NO way was Micah Herndon going to give up on this race.

Crossing the line on hands and knees, the US Marine veteran completed the Boston Marathon he had run in honour of the late Mirror journalist Rupert Hamer and his own fallen comrades.

Micah was with Rupert, 39, the Sunday Mirror's defence correspondent, in Afghanistan when he died along with US marines Mark Juarez and Matthew Ballard.

A roadside bomb planted by the Taliban in January 2010, killed the three men, while Mirror photographer Phil Coburn lost both of his legs.

In Monday's marathon, Micah, 31, ran out of running steam but in an incredible show of courage he completed the last four miles by walking and crawling. He achieved a time of 3hrs 38mins.

Earlier he said: "I run in honour of them. They are not here any more. I am here, and I am able."

Later he said he found the strength to keep going by repeating the names of the three men: "I just keep saying their names out loud. I run for them and their families."

Micah's trainers were threaded with three golden plates with the names Hamer, Juarez and Ballard.

Now an electrician, he served in Afghanistan with a Marines unit nicknamed the Lava Dogs.

Recovering from the race, he posted on Facebook: "Pain.

Blood. Sweat. Tears" and the hashtag #4ballard hamerjuarez" chris.bucktin@mirror.co.uk @DailyMirror Rupert Hamer.

CAPTION(S):

HONOURED Mirrorman Rupert Hamer. Micah's trainers with name plates, inset

FINAL PUSH Exhausted Micah at the finish line

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 17, 2019
Words:260
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