Marine who crawled over Boston Marathon finish line set to return, ready for ‘redemption’

Micah Herndon, who crawled over the Boston Marathon finish line last year while honoring his fallen comrades, will compete in the race again in April. (AP/Charles Krupa)

Micah Herndon’s body started to give out as he approached the finish line at the Boston Marathon last year, forcing him to crawl across the finish on his hands and knees.

Now, nearly one year later, the Marine veteran is ready to give it another go.

Herndon announced on Twitter on Friday that he will compete in the Boston Marathon on April 20 with a single word: “Redemption.”

Herndon finished the marathon last year in three hours and 38 minutes, his first ever marathon attempt. He ran the New York City Marathon in November slightly faster, completing the trek through the boroughs in three hours and five minutes. 

Though finishing the nearly 26.3-mile race while crawling is inspiring on its own — a video of his finish quickly went viral on social media — Herndon’s story made it even more so. 

Herndon was injured during an improvised explosive device attack during his tour in Afghanistan in 2010. He runs now to help cope with post-traumatic stress disorder from his time in Afghanistan, and to honor two of his best friends, Mark Juarez and Matthew Ballard, and British journalist Rupert Hamer, who all died in the attack. 

Herndon, who used the hashtag “#ballardhamerjuarez” when announcing his return to the marathon, repeats their last names while he runs, too. 

“I run in honor of them,” Herndon said last year. “They are not here anymore. I am here, and I am able. I am lucky to still have all my limbs. I can still be active. I find fuel in the simple idea that I can run. Some cannot.

“I feel like if I am not running, then I am doing something wrong with my life. If I get a heat cramp while running or my feet hurt or I am getting exhausted, I just keep saying their names out loud to myself. They went through so much worse, so I run for them and their families.”

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