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Manchester runner carried across London Marathon finish line jokes 'I feel like a slight fraud'

David Wyeth, 35, was helped to finish the race by Matthew Rees, 29, on Sunday. Photo: PA

The Manchester runner who was carried across the London Marathon finish line has joked that he feels like a "fraud" and that he should give a piece of his medal to the Good Samaritan who helped him.

In a celebrated show of sportsmanship, David Wyeth, 35, from Manchester, was helped to the race finish line on Sunday by fellow competitor Matthew Rees, 29, who placed the flagging runner's arms around him as he staggered through the last mile.

The pair have been reunited after the Mr Wyeth was taken for medical treatment straight after the race on Sunday afternoon. Credit: PA

After the pair joked that Mr Wyeth completed the race one minute faster than Swansea man Mr Rees, the 35-year-old admitted he "didn't know where I would be" without the younger man's help.

The project manager told the Press Association: "The time means absolutely nothing to me - I feel a slight fraud for having a medal around my neck.

"I should cut a little piece out because it belongs to Matthew.

"I really wouldn't have got across the line - on my hands and knees, maybe, but the time meant nothing in the end because I know I wouldn't have got there without Matthew putting his arm around me and carrying me over the line."

Matthew Lees, left, helps the exhausted runner Credit: Virgin Money London Marathon

Mr Wyeth also said he felt "selfish" for putting himself at risk with his two young children, aged six and four, watching.

Reunited less than 24 hours after the race at a press conference at a hotel in Tower Hill, east London, Mr Wyeth was almost in tears as he recalled the painful moment.

He said: "I knew where (my family) were positioned for the last viewing point, and that was around Westminster.

"I think I was in a state of distress at that point around Westminster and they knew something was wrong and that I was injured, or worse.

"I will reflect on the day but my concern was the risk I put myself in with two young children, that I'm doing something for fun and it's my recreation and I just felt so selfish that I was there in a bad way.

"It's with massive, massive thanks to the London Marathon team - so many volunteers, so many kind faces, so many kind words.

"I don't know where I'd be without that."

As he spoke of the selfless moment, Mr Rees, an HSBC bank worker, said he feared he himself might not finish the race after battling issues with his calf muscles.

He said: "My moment with David was caught on camera, but I was helped along the course. I stopped a number of times to stretch out my calf.

"Other runners said, 'I'll slow down and go with you' and I told them to go on.

"The last couple of miles the calf was really hurting me but the thought that the finish line is close drives you on that little bit further.

"My troubles started around mile nine, and I thought 'that's a long way to go'."

"I was literally just about to get into my stride for the sprint finish - I've always got a little bit of a sprint finish left in me, then I saw David.

"The point I saw him, he was clearly struggling and his legs just went from underneath him and he fell to the ground.

"I went over and he said 'I've got to finish' and I said 'you will' and I helped him up."

Mr Rees said Mr Wyeth encouraged him to go on, but he insisted on helping the 35-year-old, who was running in memory of his uncle, to the finish line.

"It was clear he wouldn't be able to do this alone, so I thought 'stick with him' to make sure he did reach that finish line."

Despite the hurdle, Mr Wyeth, from Manchester, said everything was "meticulously planned" and he was well prepared, but thought that dehydration could be the cause.

"I trained the miles, had a goal in mind and was comfortable for a large part of the race - I was on for my goal of sub 2 (hours) 40.

"My legs crumbled in front of Buckingham Palace pretty much as we were turning the corner and the end was in sight.

"But it's still a long way down the Mall to get to, maybe that was a realisation and the legs just gave and the body shut down".

One of the most heartwarming stories to come out of this year's marathon, the footage of Mr Rees helping struggling competitor Mr Wyeth over the marathon finish line has gone viral less than 24 hours later.

Both runners managed to complete the race in less than three hours.