Helping feet: Trooper’s act of kindness helps runner finish

By Austin Jackson | Published Saturday, September 15, 2018
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Spur of the Moment

SPUR OF THE MOMENT – DPS Trooper Lee Carson IV stands with Alvord senior Clint Wright after helping the cross country runner finish the 5K race in Alvord Thursday. Submitted photo

The chase was on for Department of Public Safety Trooper Lee Carson IV.

No stranger to foot pursuits, Carson saw his opportunity and acted, hopping out of his parked patrol car on Farm Road 1655 and taking off. His boots pounded the pavement, gun and 35 pounds of gear knocking against his body.

The target, Alvord senior Clint Wright, could hear him coming as the trooper closed the gap, bearing down on the teen.

But Wright wasn’t in trouble.

No laws were broken during the Alvord cross country meet Thursday, just plenty of sweat during an impromptu act of kindness.

Wright was bringing up the rear of the cross country race and was in last place, struggling through the final mile of the 5K.

Hoofing It

HOOFING IT – DPS Trooper Lee Carson IV legs out the final stretch of the Alvord Cross Country meet Thursday. Carson saw Alvord senior Clint Wright struggling on FM 1655 and decided to help him finish, running the final mile of the race in full uniform. Submitted photo

“I saw him, and he was way, way in the back,” Carson said. “I was just thinking, ‘no man left behind.'”

Carson, in full uniform, wearing his hat, vest, boots and belt, ran to Wright’s side to help him finish the race.

“He came up and was like, ‘Can I run with you?’, and I said, ‘Yeah,” Wright explained. “He said, ‘Good. Because I haven’t had my workout today.'”

The trooper said he saw a bit of himself in Wright. He saw the struggle and the pain and decided he would help the teen finish.

Little did Carson know there was a mile left to go.

“I was thinking he was on the home stretch,” Carson said. “But it turned out he had a whole lot longer to go.”

But Carson – like Wright – didn’t give up.

“My legs were buckling, they were numb and my face was just covered in sweat,” Carson said. “I was struggling. That gear is heavy. I’m used to running in uniform but not for that long. Usually when you’re chasing down someone, they tire out pretty quickly. But I told him I was finishing the race with him. I couldn’t show weakness.”

The trooper and the Alvord senior, whose main sport is baseball, kept going and going, hoofing out the final mile. Carson also played baseball in high school, and the pair bonded over their favorite sport while headed toward the finish line.

Eventually, Wright was able to pull ahead of Carson, boosted by the trooper’s encouragement and ‘spur of the moment’ decision to help.

“He helped me fight through the pain,” Wright said. “He kept me distracted from that and helped me set the pace and finish that final stretch. It made my day.”

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