Melanie Bailey, a cross-country runner, became a viral sensation when she carried rival Danielle LeNoue over the finish line at a championship race on Saturday.

Bailey Carried LeNoue Anfter LeNoue Injured Her Knee

Bailey, a senior at Devils Lake High School, was running in the Eastern Dakota Conference’s Cross Country Championship, over the weekend, when she stumbled upon LeNoue, a senior at Fargo South.

LeNoue was limping and crying around the 2-mile mark, having hurt her knee. “I started walking, and I could not go any further,” LeNoue later recounted.

When Bailey stopped near her, LeNoue reportedly encouraged her to keep going to the finish, only .4 miles away, but Bailey refused. “All I could think about was she was in a lot of pain. And I wanted to help her,” Bailey said.


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Bailey instructed LeNoue to hop on her back and the two crossed the finish line together, nearly 10 minutes after the winner. “Honestly, I loved the way I ended it. It was a great way to end my cross-country season,” Bailey said.

“She sacrificed her own time to help some stranger she didn’t know,” LeNoue told WPTV of Bailey. “There’s still good people out there. There’s still hope,” LeNoue added.

As seniors, this was a bittersweet last race for both Bailey and LeNoue. LeNoue tore a tendon in her knee, and says it’s “a tough feeling” knowing that she couldn’t finish the race on her own.

“I mean, it’s just a race. A person is forever, a race is [just lasts] 25 minutes,” Bailey said, explaining her decision to forgo the race.

Bailey and LeNoue, who were strangers at the start of the race, have since become friends.

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