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Struggling runner crosses finish line with competitor's help

Photo: Ed Clemente / MGN

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- A competitor who collapsed short of the finish line at the Beach to Beacon 10K in Maine managed to complete the race with some help.

Former University of Maine runner Jesse Orach says he thought the race was over and then he felt someone pick him up Saturday. Robert Gomez, of Windham, helped Orach to his feet, and together they crossed the finish line. Then, Orach collapsed again.

The touching moment was captured by news photographers.

Gomez told the Portland Press Herald that Orach "gave it more than I did" and deserved to be the top Maine finisher among nearly 6,500 competitors.

They both had the same time: 31 minutes, 31 seconds.

Orach tells the newspaper he'd suffered a heat stroke with his core body temperature peaking at 107.3 degrees.

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