An Addison teen captured the world's attention when she helped the female BMW Dallas Marathon winner, who was visibly in pain, stumble across the finish line.
The high school student behind who helped the winner of the women's division has been helping people here whole young life.
17-year-old Ariana Luterman was running the last leg for a relay team in the Sunday’s marathon when she noticed someone clearly in trouble. That’s when she came shoulder-to-shoulder with the female marathon frontrunner Dr. Chandler Self of New York.
“We got to about 500 meters before the finish line, and she went down once,” the Greenhill High School senior recalled. “At first, I thought she just tripped.”
Dr. Self was back at work on Monday in a New York hospital ER.
“I haven't experienced that type of pain,” she said. “I mean, it was intense.”
Luterman says her instinct kicked in when she saw Self in trouble.
“She got back up. It was fine. She went down again, she went down again, and she went down again,” Luterman recalled. “In that moment, I immediately thought, ‘She's down. I'm not just going to be here and cheer for her to get back up. I'm going to help this amazing athlete up.’”
FOX 4 was there in 2012 when then-12-year-old Luterman was training for a triathlon. It became a hobby she took up with her dad to raise money for Dallas-based Vogel Alcove, serving homeless children.
In 2016, Luterman was on FOX 4 as a finalist for a national award recognizing scholar-athletes. The high school teen has a history of accomplishment and doing good deeds. But on Sunday, Luterman wondered if she'd gone too far.
“At that time, I wasn't thinking of the rules,” she said. “But when I crossed the finish line I was like. ‘Oh, gosh! Did I just disqualify her?!’”
“As athletes, in the running community especially, we are all about trying to help each other,” Self said. “So I think that is that sort of gut instinct. And then, yeah. We have to remember, ‘Oh, yeah! The rules!’”
Despite the assist, Self was officially declared the winner. It was perhaps equally as satisfying for Luterman.
“She won. She's the winner. She deserves it 100 percent,” Luterman said. “I wouldn't change a thing.”
There was some question about whether Self had truly won. However, the executive race committee did review the results and says her first place win will stand.