Searching for a good Samaritan

January 18, 2008 8:09:31 AM PST
Kevin Saunders had quite a story to tell when he won the Aramco Houston wheelchair half marathon on Sunday. But on Sunday, part of that story is a plea to Houstonians. Saunders has participated in more than 300 races, but he will never forget Sunday's half marathon.

Saunders arrived at the starting line late. He went to the wrong starting line first. Then he rode the first six miles of the half marathon on a flat tire, and still won. Now, he's looking for the generous Houstonian who helped him fix that flat.

"It started and I was five minutes or so away from the start line," said Saunders.

Being five minutes behind didn't ruffle Saunders. He's been racing in a wheelchair since a work accident in 1981.

"God wasn't through with me," said Saunders.

Saunders was thrown the length of a football field after an explosion and landed on a concrete parking lot. Then he spent a year in the hospital.

Since he began wheelchair racing he's won countless awards. But he gives the medals away.

"If they can inspire and help bring out the best in someone, there's a lot better use than those kind of things," said Saunders. Fast-forward to Sunday's Aramco Houston half marathon.

"When I crossed the starting line, I had a flat tire, no time to change it though," said Saunders.

So Saunders muscled on.

"I kept asking people along the way could anyone help me change a flat tire, but nobody ever seemed to offer, so I just kept pushing," said Saunders.

That was until a mystery man showed up.

"The man in black," said Saunders.

Whoever he is the man helped Saunders fix his tire and get going.

Saunders pushed his way to a victory and more awards, which he's again giving away.

"I'd also like to give him a medal that says God made us all to be champions," said Saunders. "I didn't really get a chance to talk to him. I wanted to thank him because I think it's people like that who are real champions."

Saunders says if you know who helped him on Sunday, log onto his website and let him know.

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