Michah Herndon set out to accomplish two goals in the 2019 Boston Marathon: qualify for the New York Marathon, and run for three friends who were killed by an IED in Afghanistan in 2010.

While the retired Marine ultimately failed to qualify for the New York Marathon (more on that later), he unquestionably succeeded in honoring two fellow Marines and a British journalist. Along the way, Herndon provided what will go down as one of the most memorable images in Boston Marathon history.

You might recall seeing the clip of the Tallmadge, Ohio, native crawling to the finish line at 700 Boylston Street in April. At first, some poked fun at what seemed like a rather over-the-top commitment to something relatively arbitrary. However, it didn’t take long for people to realize something far more significant took place at the end of the 26.2-mile race through the streets of The Commonwealth.

Of course, there’s more to any story than meets the idea, and that’s especially true of Herndon’s remarkable tale.

Learn more about the 31-year-old — and who he ran for — in the ESPN video below:

Despite not qualifying for guaranteed entry in the New York Marathon, Herndon received an unexpected invitation to the Nov. 3 race. And when that day comes, he again will have his friends and fellow veterans in mind.

“These guys are the reason I run,” Herndon told Runner’s World in April. “I’m running to get their story out there and to get veterans’ issues out there.

“I want to bring light to these issues that go unseen.”

Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images