PHOENIX, Ariz. (KSAZ) - Sunday's Rock 'n' Roll Marathon was perhaps marked by something that may be considered remarkable.
A 74-year-old man who took a spill during the event was still able to cross the finish line.
Among runners, there is a kind of an unwritten code that no one should leave a fallen runner near the finish line. John Wilkie was in the half-marathon when he took a spill, and found out first hand about that unwritten code on Sunday.
The pictures from the event looked unsettling. Blood was seen gushing from a head wound, but Wilkie got help from strangers to cross the finish line.
Wilkie now calls the strangers "angels from above."
"I don't know where they came from," said Wilkie. "I couldn't have been on the ground but for seconds. All of a sudden, they were lifting me up."
Sunday was not the first time Wilkie took part in the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. Indeed, Wilkie took part in the event eight times before. On that fateful Sunday, however, Wilkie was within 60 yards (54.86 meters) to the finish line in Tempe when something suddenly emerged in front of Wilkie.
It was the front of a stroller.
"All of a sudden, this wheel came out in front of me, and caught me on the right foot," said Wilkie. "I went down on my left knee, and ended up hitting my head on the ground."
Running nearby was one Texas runner named Nate, and another runner named Colin Jackson, who was visiting from California. Both took Wilkie to the medical tent, and got his medal for him.
"It still chokes me up when I think about what they did," said Wilkie, who received five stitches and a CAT scan.