LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

Image of LMPD officer helping 10K runner cross finish line viewed more than 1 million times


You've probably seen the picture: a Louisville mother fights her way across the finish line this weekend at the Rodes City Run 10K, hand-in-hand with her son and an officer.

On Monday, WDRB News anchor Gilbert Corsey spoke with that mother -- Asia Ford.

"Right in between mile four and five, I started feeling my body shutting down," Ford said. "So I told my son we'd get to mile five and we were going to stop, and he asked me why I was crying."

Ford did not run the 10K in Louisville Saturday expecting to be the star, but with one picture, the last person to cross the finish line won the heart of the country.

"I was crying because I knew I only had a mile in front of me, but my body wouldn't allow me to move anymore," she said. "So I looked down and I said, 'God if I you can only allow me to move a couple more feet.' And right when I said that, this man came from nowhere."

"He said, you know, 'I followed you. I saw what you just did....how could I allow you to walk this on your own?' The man who willed Ford to finish was Louisville Metro Police Department Lt. Aubrey Gregory. She said, "He said, 'I want you to look up the street We have one mile in front of us.'"

Ford didn't know Lt. Gregory had been following her and her son TJ the entire race. Just as she was ready to quit, the officer got out of his car, took her arm and started sharing a story of losing his own mother to diabetes.

"He's my angel and that's the truth," Ford said. Lt. Gregory said, " Being a police officer is not just about law enforcement. it is about helping and service."

Lt. Gregory didn't know Ford once tipped the scales at 474 pounds. She's been on a two year weight loss journey losing 217 pounds naturally. The 35-year-old mother of three said she is taking her life back for her family.

"It's just amazing because kids will do stuff to you and I know I want to be here for them," she said.

The finish line photos have gone viral. Ford, her son, the officer and the photographer who captured it all were called before the Mayor Monday for a bit of thanks. Photographer Jonathan Roberts said he was in the right place at the right time. Roberts said, " When you see moments like this it's real."

It's a story of compassion and determination, inspiring the nation. Asia Ford may not be the fastest, but she's the one you want to win.

"To know that other people are looking up to you over something that could change their life is amazing," she said.

Ford and Lt. Gregory have appeared on several national media outlets including ESPN, CNN and FOX Cable News sharing this story.

Ford said she plans to keep running. The Papa Johns 10 mile race is next on her list in two weeks.