Ben Parore flew from New Zealand to New York to compete in the NYC Marathon. He had never been to America and he had been training hard for his first NYC marathon. His dream was to crack 4 hours. He had just missed the 4 hour mark in the last 2 races he ran. He was slightly ahead of schedule when at mile 13, he came across James Akaka, a disabled runner in a hand-cycle. Ben was filming himself at the time and asked James to smile for his video. But Akaka pointed to the back of his hand-cycle.
James had a stroke in 2011 and lost the ability to speak and walk.
Parore confirmed that Akaka, was trying to get help to finish the race. Ben said he never thought twice about it. Despite all of his training, it was more important to be kind to another person who was struggling. He ran the last half of the marathon pushing his new buddy. They crossed the finish line together at five hours, twelve minutes.
“The race was everything … so inspired by my Hawaiian brother I picked up halfway through the race. It's like it was a divine appointment that we met. I'm so happy that we met! You gave the race even more purpose for me. Much love.”