Living with M.S.

"Living with M.S. is sort of like training for a long race. The harder you try, and the longer you keep at it, the stronger you become.
Eventually, looking back, you may be amazed at the power you possessed, even when you had no idea it was within your reach." (Linda Ann Nickerson)


3 women carry injured runner from trail course

Runners tend to be a competitive sort, and trail runners are no different. That’s one of the things that make this story so special.

Last weekend, I participated in a trail race. (I am trying to stay more active this winter, even though MS tends to ramp up for me at that time of year.) The event included a 6+ mile run and a 3+ mile hike – both on loopy, hilly, rutty, muddy, woodsy trails. Fallen branches, unearthed tree roots, bubbling creek crossings, slippery rocks, and steep inclines were everywhere. It was a fun challenge.

At least, it started that way.

About 1.65 miles into the thing, a new running friend and I stumbled upon a small group of fellow entries, who were stopped. One of these young ladies had injured her ankle and could not put any weight on it. No one seemed to have a phone.

A few runners had already passed her, tromping along to complete the course.

As I pulled out my cell to call the race director for help, three of these ladies sprang into action. Two of them draped the hurt runner’s arms over their shoulders. The third picked up her legs and hung them over her shoulders. (I’ve never seen that done before, but it sure worked.)

Looking at the photos later, I am surprised that I did not notice the guy in the background earlier. He did not seem to have a race bib, so he may have been a random trail traveler.

Together, with a few scattered rest stops, the ladies carried the injured one almost a mile back through the rugged terrain. I went ahead a bit, trying to spot the not-so-nearby road through the trees and thickets and attempting (rather lamely, if you will) to pinpoint our location. Finally, I stomped through the brush to wave down the rescue truck, and we were able to load the girl into it.

Just gotta love finding folks who are willing to step out of a race and help someone who needs it. A few of those ladies apparently knew one another. The rest did not.

I do not know how the hurt runner fared afterwards. I have no idea whether her ankle is broken or sprained or what. I don’t even know her name. But I am proud of the fellow runners who came to her aid.

After the rescue, several of the ladies found their way back on-course and finished the race. My friend and I headed back to base instead. I broke a bone on the way back – not long after this incident. That’s another story … and another post.

 Photos taken and copyrighted by Linda Ann Nickerson

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