Has Broken Parts
What you did was pacing, not banditing. I think you did the exact right thing. Paced her for the last mile and gave her the support she needed but you didn't cross the finish line. A very nice thing to do!
"Address the process rather than the outcome. Then, the outcome becomes more likely." - Robert Fripp
never runs the tangents
Some azhat will be along to tell you that the hug will cost her "finishing" since you touched her. In the real world what you did was totally the right thing to do.
How many times have you seen people's young kids take off running down the chute with mom or dad? Sure like a 4 year old ran the marathon, people just say awww look how cute. No one says that kid is a bandit.
when in doubt, run
However, it occurred to me today that I might be looked at as a good friend.
"Training is not always fun, but it should always be rewarding."
I ran mile 26 with a friend of mine in her last marathon. I was in jeans and leather shoes... no one cared. Her mom ran with us a little too.
Her mom is hot. btw. This doesn't have anything to do with the thread, but hey... hot mom.
There is a big difference between what is acceptable for competitive runners and what is acceptable for recreational runners. For competitive runners, any assistance is a reason for disqualification and the use of a pacer or a coach can be considered "assistance." Essentially, unless it's a resource available to all runners, it may not be available to any runners. That includes headphones. At the recreational level, it's a whole different ballgame.
Headphones are typically discouraged but not prohibited. Pacers are not only permitted, many races have pace groups with people whose main goal is to "assist" other runners in getting a specified time. Mind you, I have seen people on bikes telling other runners things like, "dig in", "beat that guy", and other such encouragement and that bothers me both from the perspective of having a bike on the course where it shouldn't be and from the perspective of coaching someone when that coaching isn't available to other runners. Again, much different than pacing someone, IMHO.
Were you a bandit? No. You didn't use course resources nor did you run the bulk of the course. You didn't run her to the finish nor did you get on a bike or something like that. I think what you did was just fine and I'm about as hardcore about the competitive aspect of races as anyone you'll find.
Short term goal: 17:59 5K
Mid term goal: 2:54:59 marathon
Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life. (I started running at age 45).