Marathon final-place finisher’s video becomes inspirational internet sensation

Lynda Elmore – last place finisher at the 2024 Manchester Marathon
(Image credit: Running at 40 Plus / Facebook)

A video of a runner who was the last finisher to cross the line at this year’s Manchester Marathon in the UK has become an internet sensation as thosands of people praised her for her “never-give-up” grit and determination to cross the line.

Lynda Elmore, of Perton near Wolverhampton, who injured herself nine miles into the marathon and eventually completed it with a time of seven hours and 18 minutes, says she’s been “blown over” by the millions of online reactions to the video of her finally crossing the finish line and refusing to DNF. Facebook footage of the moment – which has been shared like wildfire – has now seen by more than four million people.

She says she had no idea the reaction was “going to go as bonkers as it has” but hoped she has inspired people to “get out there, put your trainers on and never give up”. Indeed, in her original comment on the Facebook post, he describes it as, “not one of my finest moments. I seem to look like a duck tying to woggle. Not sure if I'm embarrassed or just in shock of it all.”

Elmore, an experienced runner, fell when she clipped a kerb just over a third of the way into the marathon (if you want to run a sub four-hour marathon tripping over is not a good idea).

"You get yourself up, feel a little bit embarrassed, couple of people help you up and then you shake yourself off then you realize your hip hurts, your elbow hurts, you've jarred a bit of your shoulder and then you start getting a little bit emotional,” she said to BBC West Midlands.

“By then, you think to yourself, ‘No, come on, you can do this.’ …It was one of those moments: ‘Well, do I give up, or do I carry on?’”

Bravely she chose to carry on, eventually staggering over the finish line and fistbumping one of the race volunteers with a grimace on her face that mixed agony and triumph. And the internet community loved her tenacity.

“Her reaction is priceless,” said Her Sport. “What a proud moment.”

Organizers of the event said a record-breaking 32,000 people signed up to take part in this year’s race.

“I’m truly emotional that I’ve inspired so many people to read and comment and share across the various sites,” said Elmore. “I’m very grateful, I'm very emotional... If I feel it’s given some encouragement and some joy to people out there, then that gives me pleasure.”