March 23, 2015 11:00 PM

Asia Ford prayed for help to help to finish her second-ever ten-kilometer run – and her prayers were answered in the form of Lt. Aubrey Gregory.

Ford has lost 217 lbs. in the last two years, all in an effort to improve her health as a good example for her children. And while she is determined, Ford realized around the four-mile mark that she needed that something extra to finish the Rodes City Run in Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday.

Gregory approached Ford and asked if she wanted to stop. Ford said no. “We have two more miles to go,” she recalled telling him in an interview with Kentucky’s WHAS 11. And so with one hand in Gregory’s and the other in her son’s, she crossed the finish line – third-to-last, but no less victorious.

The photo of the trio has since gone viral, and on Monday, Louisville mayor Greg Fischer honored Ford and Gregory.

“Nothing is easy in life. There’s been a lot of teary moments. But I know I want it for myself,” Ford said during the interview.

Gregory, who explained to Ford that he had lost his own mother to diabetes, struggled to find words for the emotions he felt as Ford crossed the finish line. “Your heart starts to fill up. You feel those goosebumps and tingles all over your body. And when I watched her approach and I heard all the people start to scream, I let her go and watched her raise her hands,” he said. “There aren’t words.”

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