Runner Carries Rival: Melanie Bailey & Danielle LeNoue Story Will Restore Some Faith In Humanity

October 18, 2014 | By Garrett Montgomery More

Runner carries rival and story goes viral. Cross country runner, Melanie Bailey defined good sportsmanship as she stopped in the middle of an important race to help her rival, Danielle LeNoue, who was injured.

Runner Carries Rival

People who came to watch the Eastern Dakota Conference’s Cross Country Championship in North Dakota on Saturday, were stunned to see one runner carrying a rival racer to the finish line. Just 800 meters from the finish line, Danielle LeNoue understood that the race was over for her as she crumbled to the floor in horrible pain due to a torn patella tendon.

Several other runners dashed by ignoring the senior from Fargo South High School, who was crying on the ground. But Miss Melanie Bailey showed compassion and love to the injured runner. Bailey who is a senior from the Devils Lake High School, was not happy with just keeping her rival on her feet, she picked her up, put her on her back and carried her to the finish line.

The story of the amazing runner who carried her rival to the finish line, has been making headlines and many say, it has restored their faith in humanity. Local media outlets spoke to both runners and you will not be surprised to learn that they have become great friends.

Danielle LeNoue who is also a cashier said as she sat on the floor, she was felling disappointed that after training so hard, she could not finish the race. She said:

“I felt like a pop in my knee. I felt like my leg was getting cut off… it was a bad pain. I could not go any further.”

Her rival made sure she crossed that line, even if it was eight minutes after first-place runner. LeNoue went on to add that what Bailey did, was the most unselfish act she had ever witnessed. When a reporter asked Bailey, why did she more or less dropped out from a state qualifying race to help a fellow runner, she gave this heart touching answer:

“It’s just a race that’s the thing. A person is forever, a race just lasts 25 minutes.”

Below is an interesting report on the runner, who carried her injured and sobbing rival.


Category: Sports

Comments (94)

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  1. Angel says:

    Miss Bailey should get a medal for what she did. She not only stopped to check on this girl, she carried her to the finish line. Yes the one didn’t finish on her own, but she did finish the race. More people need to have compassion for others. Well done Melanie Bailey!!

    • Real Peopl Do Real Things says:

      Amedal for what… she did a good thing , why do people need a medal for something they wanted to do….. Stop all this crap… Great gesture, but NO medal needed… Life must be ruff for you … You don’t see good deeds where you from… Stop watching tv bc it makes you think the world is mad… There are plenty stories out there like this…. Human race prevails! Jah know!

  2. Jan Ventresca says:

    Melanie Bailey is to be commended for showing such compassion, caring, and sportsmanship above and beyond the call. Though she may not have won the race or qualified she will always have the memory that she did the right thing and helped another human being. Her parents should be very proud of her. This shows they did a good job in raising her and gave her good values.

  3. donald says:

    ! Bravo, Melanie !\\

    “She isn’t heavy-she’s my sister.”

  4. stew says:

    This story should be on the front page of every news paper in the country. And the lead story of every news channel. Nothing better than seeing the quality of a young persons character shine.

    • Amy says:

      I really agree with your comment. 40000 blogs and papers all with Eboli… I need more of these types of stories instead. You said it great.

    • Patriots Press says:

      THANK YOU, Stew. I wish the News Moguls would read your answer!

    • Spencer says:

      This is hardly news, random acts of kindness go unnoticed every day. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that this girl had the gall to step up and be a decent human being.

      But, besides the local news, the news is for reporting matters that are important like how there are people dying around the world from hunger or war.

      Give her a pat on the back and move on, help someone in need yourself.

      • Russell says:

        Spencer you’re an idiot. There is no shortage of bad news worldwide to be reported daily. Who are you do determine what should and should not be reported? Answer in short: You are no one. It is beneficial to the public to read and hear about positive, uplifting stories. Get your head out of your butt, clean your stinking attitude, or go piss up a rope.

      • David A. Lynch says:

        Spencer. Spencer. Spencer. I appreciate your right to your opinion. Doesn’t mean I agree with it at all. We have hunger and war stories stuffed down our throats everyday. And it still hasn’t stopped either one of them. Perhaps this random act of unselfishness needs to be more prevalent in the news and maybe hunger and war wouldn’t have to be reported on. Even the Grinch found out he had a heart after he heard all of the singing following the theft of gifts and even the tree. So, I think you have a heart too. Somewhere.

        • MissBliss says:

          Amen Mr. Lynch. I have been hoping that I’m not the only one who would like to see fewer ugly reality shows in favor of some that highlight the good in people. Surely the good still outweighs the bad as indicated by Miss Melanie!

          Thank you Melanie Bailey for showing us how to save ourselves………..

  5. Bob says:

    And the real winner of the day is not the fastest runner but miss Melanie for her unselfish act of compassion. And strength.

  6. Connor says:

    Great Story, but as a cross country runner I would never do that.

    • KB says:

      Shows how much heart you have…uh…none.

    • Glim12808 says:

      Why should you since you obviously have no class ;-\

    • Peggy says:

      You Suck! Who cares shows how much you care for others…

    • Another CC Runner says:

      Its true, normal people would not do what she does. When a runner runs for 5-6 miles and almost finished, the last thing the runner wants to to do is to carry someone else to the finish line.

      KB, Glim 12808, and Peggy,
      Why the negative comment? I would like to see you name callers to be in that runners position. Its not easy.

      Just my 2 cents

    • wierjlkd says:

      My son is a high school cross country runner and I know there are coaches and officials along the course for just this reason where we live. They should have been the one’s to carry this girl out.

      • Kristian says:

        If one of the coaches or officials had of touched the girl she would have automaticly been disqualified. Since a fellow runner helped both girls still finished the race.

        • Fellow Runner says:

          Just because she would have been disqualified should not have been a reason to not help the girl out. If she was crying on the ground and in pain, an adult should have been there, especially 800m fr the finish. Technically, even if she did qualify for states, she wouldn’t have been able to run. Good on the girl for helping another runner out but in the end, she shouldn’t have been the one to do that. That’s why there’s an ambulance and infirmary tent at every race.

      • L.N. says:

        You have clearly missed the point, wierjkd. It is not about who was available and ready to carry the injured runner off the track, as I am sure there probably was someone there for just such an accident. It is about a girl who did not stop to think about who should be the one to assist her fellow runner. She just decided that it should be HER! She didn’t do it for any other reason than just to be a decent person. She showed great character, maturity, sportsmanship, integrity, and kindness. Regardless of all the hard work she put into training and getting to where she was, for her, it was “just a race.” She didn’t have to do what she did. If she just kept on running, no one would have thought the worse of her. But she didn’t. She chose to be kind rather than win. Her legacy will be far greater for how she lost, rather than how she could have won. She’s a class act and will go far in life. A nod out to her family for doing such a darn good job and raising such a great kid!

    • LBTM says:

      This IS an inspirational story. It’s great that Melanie decided to stop and help a fellow runner out, especially so that Danielle could cross the finish line for her final race of the season (as a senior, no less). However, I, like Connor, am a cross country runner and I can say that I too would probably never do something like this. If you are like KB, Glim, and Peggy and think that is a heartless, classless answer, you obviously know nothing about cross country.

    • Another Connor says:

      Connor, I don’t know if you’re a guy or a gal. I only know that I’ve only read of this kind of decency once before and that was Meghan Vogel (see in 2012. I’ve never read of guys doing this for a rival during a competition. Maybe that’s why you don’t understand?

  7. Johnny flyrod says:

    Miss Bailey and Todd Beamer are of the same mould. American. Through and through…Dear God this is still a great country!!!

  8. Spike says:

    Nice act of kindness… but worth noting: Both runners were offically disqualified. A competitor is prohibited from physcially aiding another competitor during the race. Likewise, a competitor is prohibited from receiving physical assistance from anyone during a race.

    • KB says:

      It’s just a race. It can be redone.

      • LBTM says:

        Ummm, no KB, the race can’t actually be re-run. This is a conference championship race: either you do well and move on or your season is over, there are no do-overs.

    • WODY3171 says:

      hay dummy it not about the race at that point it about them and who they are as people and what they want to accomplish . proof said girl hurt just wanted to finish knowing it her last race and the other puts people before temporary things like 23 minute race

      • Oregon says:

        “Hay dummy,” it’s, hey dummy unless you’re calling the person a stupid scarecrow.

        Well, you deserve it being it seems you can’t seem to understand that when you’re in a sport, people that compete, are asked to follow things called, rules. It’s okay that some followed the rules and in the support of another Mrs. Baily decided to help out.

        It’s just as well to finish the race and then go back and help or let other’s know that somebody is down.

        When I ran, there were many people that dropped out for injury reasons, it happens all the time. It doesn’t make you the devil to go on and finish the race.

        We also had people called coaches and spotters/assistance that help those that need it with food, water, or for injury assistance.

        If you don’t like the rules, don’t gripe at the people following them; get the rules changed.

        In the end, it’s just a nice story.

        • Sue says:

          Hey Oregon…don’t cast disparaging remarks about spelling or grammar when YOU make them yourself! It’s not MRS Bailey; it’s people WHO (not that), and you should have said spotter/assistants, not assistance. Also, your punctuation is horrendous.

          • Kathi says:

            Sue, I think Oregon was just pointing out the errors because WODY3171 was calling someone a dummy. Let’s all please be nice.

            I also probably wouldn’t have thought to pick someone up like that. I do some other nice things though, but I’m not perfect. It was very nice of the girl.

    • Sharyn says:

      She obviously felt her competitor was of more importance than winning the race. Kuddos, young lady, you’ve done more for your fellow humans at your age than a lot have never achieved at far more greater ages. You are a winner, the best kind.

  9. Scott says:

    Melanie Bailey won the only race that matters all our lives. Congratulations to her.

  10. Penny says:

    This is what High School Sportsmanship should be. This is what we should be teaching our children. Her parents did good!

  11. Anton Logesparan says:

    Yes,faith in humanity is restored by Bailey’s and and her answer ” A person is for ever but the race is just for 25minutes”. Let all remember that all competition is just for a while but the persons we help or hurt is forever! Hats off to her.

  12. Robert Prince says:

    For all you aliens out there sizing us up, never forget that our humanity is largely founded on our love and compassion of others as demonstrated by these remarkable young women.

  13. CJ says:

    Wow, what a touching story. Beautiful.

    • ron says:

      Melanie Bailey demonstrated outstanding “personal values” … I think most parents strive for the same in their children, but it really takes a very special, caring, thoughtful, and respecting individual to make that “instant decision”, in a race. I have four son’s and I really believe that two of them might have made the same choice, but the other two are too competitive. JMHO

      • LBTM says:

        Ron – my guess is that this decision had nothing to do with being competitive or not. If Melanie says a race is 25 minutes, she’s not racing for the win…my guess is she’s not even scoring. That makes the decision to stop a lot easier because you don’t have to worry about letting teammates/friends down. It’s still awesome that she carried someone for a 1/2 mile, but I don’t think it has to do with her deciding to be kind rather than competitive. I just think most people wouldn’t be willing to carry someone like that. Her willingness to do that is the truly inspirational part of this story.

  14. JFC says:

    Class, True Class.

  15. The Pharmacy Man says:

    Both of these ladies are winners! They win the race of kindness and humanity. The 2nd most inspiring story of 2014.
    The 1st? The young lady in Texas that gave her homecoming crown to a friend that had been tricked by fellow students into believing that she had been nominated for homecoming queen.
    These are the young people that will someday be the leaders of our great country and we should be proud and celebrate them!

  16. Billy says:

    Not surprising this happened in the Midwest. You just don’t get interactions like this in many other areas in the country.

    • ron says:

      That, “billy” was a profoundly dumb comment…??? So you’ve lived in all the other area’s and can testify that only in the Midwest can this happen??? I’ll have you know that there are acts of kindness, bravery, and outstanding citizenship happening throughout all areas of the country. It’s just that they are never publicized to this extent. Grow up, and have faith in area’s of the country that you can only dream of living in!!!

      • Annie Scott says:

        There is so much in the news about the Kardashians, Kayne West, who married who, which star is divorcing, where a star is vacationing. All of this is utter stupidity and stuff not worth reading or listening to. This story about the two girls is newsworthy and sends a powerful message about character and what society should be. This is a story worth reading about and something that the media should report on. Let’s see how long it takes to hit the front page of a national newspaper or magazine. This is a story worth reading.

      • Grady the cat says:

        East or west coast they would be going through your pockets and taking anything of mone
        tary value.

  17. Proud Fan says:

    *** Melanie Bailey***:BEST in Sportsmanship! This is the greatest story of Sportsmanship I have heard of in a very long time. Melanie’s family and friends and the rest of the WORLD, should all be proud of her and take a page from her. Under the conditions of a meaningful race, this wonderful girl drops out of the competition to help (not a teammate, but a competitor). There are very few people in this world that would really stop and do this, EXCEPT the naturally good hearted person like Melanie. I am so proud of her when I read this article. She is to be praised for her actions and I hope these two girls become friends forever. Even though Melanie is technically, out of contention , as a show of gratitude she should be given an automatic place in the state qualifying and be allowed to race for such an unconditional act of kindness. This is the best form of “Paying it Forward”, we can do for her. Thank you Melanie, for just being YOU! *The World has just become a little better place.*

  18. Serenity says:

    There are many moments in our lives we make decisions that define who we are or leave us less then exemplary . They are personal moments, and are not usually absorbed by other people. When we do good that is what makes a special moment. When what you do without thought of others witnessing it, you accomplish something remarkable that touches the lives of many. That moment makes our world be what our creator expects of us each day. We are not here for self gratification, but to learn what and how we should be to justify our blessings of life each day. LeNoue and Bailey experienced that moment in life that not only showed them what they could accomplish and appreciate, but gave them the gift of friendship. We cannot ask more of our creator then such a gift. Thanks for your example and finishing the race.

  19. GILL says:

    I love this generation They are pushing us back to the ideal that “HOW YOU FINISH” is more important than “WHEN YOU FINISH”. That young lady carried all of us across that finish line.

  20. saidu says:

    jah blez melanie

  21. Bill says:

    Nice gesture, but don’t get all sentimental. She carried her to the finish line for a bunch of attention. It is not like she stabiized her knee and called an ambulance for her or found her a ride to an orthopedic surgeon’s office.

    • Leah says:

      Wow Bill, ur a d!ck. Breast fed at gun point as a child? Just how would a teenager in high school know “triage”? Melanie is a runner. The most important thing to her was the race, just like the girl who GOT INJURED WITHIN SIGHT OF THE FINISH LINE of a race they had all spent a lot of time training very hard for. ANY semi-decent person who has ever been dedicated to a sport would have, and has done many times, the same thing! Getting her to the end of the race as soon as possible was also where everyone else was gathered. Ya know… with phones, cars, the ability to get her to a hospital. I don’t know. For a teenage girl, who usually gets stereotyped as flighty, social-butterflies, more interested in romantic ideals of love than the real world, I’d say Melanie did pretty damn good thinking on her feet and putting someone else’s needs first. Especially in a time when the generations ahead of her still think its all about winning and glory… BILL!

      • Snoopy says:

        Leah is right. You can’t preplan your next move in such situations. Stuff happens. And is this case it happened in real life, not a scripted TV show or movie. Let’s face it, even so called reality TV is scripted.
        The bottom line here is that Most people will never do anything half as heroic as this in their lifetime. This person never thought, ‘hey I might not win the race, but I can get on TV.’ This is an act of pure unselfishness. Remember, she carried that girl on her back. More local heroes are needed every day to inspire a world desperately in need of inspiration.

    • GILL says:

      You are right , she did carry her to gather attention. Attention to what a person with heart does when the chips are down.

  22. Honnie says:

    Melanie is a true modern day Good Samaritan! She knows where her priorities lie. She is the real winner, as far as I am concerned! How magnanimous, Melanie! God bless you!!!

  23. William Stock says:

    this is remarkable in a day and age when people care less about each other and more about themselves.I bet her parents are proud to have such a compassionate young lady!

  24. Casey says:

    Sports is all about bringing out our best. The young lady who stopped to assist a fellow competitor was meeting that goal and behaving like a champion.

  25. arnold hinkle says:

    I declare October 18,2014 to be Miss Bailey Day. Thank you Miss Bailey

  26. Donna Hollister says:

    This is the most positive news I have read this month! Melanie Bailey you are wonderful. No need to worry about getting a medal for running, you have won the Nobel Unselfish Prize for being yourself, a loving, compassionate, and intelligent woman. God bless you for answering the question: “What Would Jesus Do?”

    Danielle LeNoue, you are amazing also. You have a great work ethic!! Although in obvious pain, you continued to work in your usual pleasant manner.

    Your families, your schools, your state, your country is proud of you…

  27. Jack says:

    Excellent story and who ever slams it is a bozo.

  28. Publicity Stunt? says:

    Melanie Baily was not in first place, when she caught up to Danielle, or in second, or in third…. even if she ran as hard as she could to the finish she was NOT going to win or even place.

    So her choices were: run on to a sub-par finish and be forgotten like most of the other runners… or carry Danielle and be swept into national fame…

    The story is still impressive as she had the presence of mind to consider her options… BUT in terms of being uniquely compassionate…not really perhaps if someone gave up a medal (ie was in the front) to stop and help that would represent a true sacrifice…

    • LBTM says:

      I wouldn’t say this is a publicity stunt – my guess is that Melanie had nothing but the best intentions to help someone in need out – but I think your breakdown of the situation is right on. It was an easier decision to make because she wasn’t giving up anything to help Danielle out.

    • jp says:

      You don’t have to be in the top three to place. She was giving up her chance to qualify for state.

  29. Zane a. Glaspell says:

    I see a bright future for both of these young women, Good Values are still Around in this world, and this is a perfect example by Melanie Bailey. I wish more youth of the world were like this!

  30. Dennis Redding says:

    see there are stories like this out there the media just has to report them. they don’t sell as much papers.

  31. Tracey says:

    She is the definition of “hero.” Not a pro sport person or someone who was injured in an accident and recovered…this girl is because she gave up something for herself to help someone else. It wasn’t about her, but someone else. Awesome! This is the way I raised my children as well.

    She’s right when she said a race is in the moment, a life is a lifetime!

    Be proud of yourself young lady! And congrats to your parents!

  32. dave franklin says:

    girl on girl………. that’s HOT

  33. Ken S says:

    Where do we sign this girl up for the Olympic Team?? THIS is who I want representing me on a World Stage!!

    Melanie Bailey has more class and deserves more respect than most of rest of us!

    Let’s see this one on front page all over the world!!

    You have great things in store for you Miss Bailey. Keep it Strong!

  34. ARMY STRONG says:

    All you Nay Sayers need to wake the hell up!
    In the military, the greatest sacrifice you can make is putting yourself in harms way, for the sake of your brothers in arms. Leave no brother behind is an unconscious act you perform, without thinking about the consequences… it’s understood as the norm in combat. Because you don’t understand that means you are pathetic, weak, selfish, Have No Honor, and could never serve in any man’s Army. And FYI, the most humbling experience you will ever have- is laying bleeding on the side of a mountain in the Middle East, taking on heavy fire, and a soldier from another country’s Army advances to your position and gets you to safety. Think about that next time you are running your race.

  35. Ingrid Elena Pavia says:

    Talk about “qualifying”! This is the very best runner’s “time” I’ve seen yet!

  36. John says:

    Looks like it caused further pain and possibly further injury by picking her up. Nice of the kid to help though.

  37. Tim Martin says:

    Miss Bailey has some very proud parents.

  38. Hickok says:

    In most races, the 2nd place person is seldom remembered. In this case, based on the spectrum of emotion expressed herein, these two will long be remembered. The list of dismissive ones to this class act, is a true saddening spectacle and reflective of the underlying reason we find this to be noteworthy news.

  39. wanda says:

    This does my heart good! In a world where grace, civility, much less good sportsmanship, are the exception and not the rule, comes a story like this that gives me hope that all is not lost. This girl has more fortitude and decency than most people three times her age. She’s got her priorities straight.

    • butcher says:

      Trample the weak and hurdle the dead

      • Lorri says:

        While reading all of the comments I wondered why there was so much negativity? Calling each other dumb, dick, etc. This is a story I was proud to read. While I am a supporter of “Freedom of Speech” there are times that negative comments need to be kept as negative thoughts. I normally do not comment on articles but this just bothered me. If all of the world pulled together like these two young ladies, it would be a much better place to live. Believe me, I am not a saint and also think of not so nice responses, but I keep the negative to myself.

        • GILL says:

          Thanks Lorri. The weakest people on the planet are cynics. Thats because if they have failed they want everyone else to do so too.

          This young woman refused to walk away.

  40. Pedro Wilson says:

    Athletics are part of education … for the lessons learned…goes back to the Greeks and their “gymnasium”.. Its not about “glory’ for physical prowess… although there is some..confidence benefits from achieving. Neither of these girls is going to earn a living as a professional runner (probably)… so what they learned together… and taught us… will endure…. not their loss in the competition.
    This kind of independent goodness is pure leadership of the best kind.. being a servant not selfish.
    This story brightened my day.

  41. Kim Irene Murray says:

    We need more role models like this.

  42. BOSUX says:

    This fine young lady has given us a good booster shot at a time when we really need it. I wonder if times are changing for the better as Barrack Insane Obama has just suffered his greatest defeat???

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