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Durham deputy, officer help woman finish race

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060616-wtvd-officer-deputy-race-vid (WTVD)

Running a race is physically challenging and it can be tough to finish strong. It takes determination and heart to push through all the way to the end. Sometimes it also take a little help to cross the finish line.

LaWanda Forte is fairly new to running with just over a year of experience. She's been signing up for races every other month and was in the 'Running of the Bulls 8K' in Durham over the weekend.

"I started it and it was warm, but I hadn't prepared for the humidity," she said. "So as I get going, I get to about two and a half miles into the race and I'm just struggling."

Also on duty on the route that day were Durham County Sheriff's Deputy Vance Stewart and Durham Officer Tait. They were both making sure everything and everyone was running smoothly.

They spotted LaWanda and could clearly see she needed a little help.

"Officer Tait suggested that we finish the race with her, and so both of us parked our cars and we finished the race with her, motivated her and encouraged her to keep going on," said Stewart.

They gave Forte the strength she needed to see it through.

"Having them with me, talking me through it, making sure I was breathing properly was so encouraging. I call them my two angels," she explained.

Stewart and Tait finished the race with Forte wearing their uniforms and boots.

Stewart says "Never leave a man behind" are words he lives by.

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