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November 18, 2015 Comments (1) Community, Runner Spotlight

Runner Spotlight – Hit by a Bus

Leon Gray

My story is a bit different as one can see – I really was hit by a bus.

What’s your excuse?

This is on several of my running shirts.  I was a decent 55-64 AG runner, road and trail, until the accident. I was crossing a street on a bike at a light and crosswalk when something went wrong. We never did determine what happened but I ended up with 2 month coma, compound fracture right leg, shattered hip, fractured this and that. Later, a blood clot, hernia, hematoma and finally, a MRSA infection and another month in the hospital. All in one year. Oh, I was airlifted to a local trauma center and I do not remember my only, and very expensive, 10 minute helicopter ride at close to $20,000! 

It took 2 years to settle everything and I then could really start pushing myself.  I went to A Snail’s Pace running academy and there I joined the 5k training group. I well remember “running” as hard as I could and everyone could easily walk faster than I could run. My speed has greatly improved and now I’m doing a 35 min 5k, still not fast but I’m out there.

 Leon Gray

Nothing on right side works very well, that’s the injured side.  Neuropathy in both feet, foot brace for drop foot, right leg does not want to lift very well, somewhat limited mobility etc, etc but what the hell. I still go and with little pain.  Doctors were not sure what I’d be like when, or if, I woke up. Forget about running and maybe even walking. Big surprise for them!

Now, 4 ½ years later I’ve done several trail races up to a 30k.  In 12/24 hour events I did 26 miles in 12 hours 2 years after the accident and with world class blisters. A year later, 62 miles in 24 hours. Last February I got in 40 miles in 12 hours at the Jackpot 100 in Vegas. Now I’ve been getting ready to do the Lake Hodges 50k. Once I finish a 50k I will consider myself a true trail ultra runner once again.  Even though I’ve done the timed ultra distance I need, in my mind, to do an ultra on a TRAIL to consider myself a true ultra runner.  

 Leon Gray 1

I do lots of power walking/running and averaging about 100+ miles a month. I now count everything since it is not that long ago I was wheelchair/walker bound. I will readily admit it is my ultra runner mentality that has made my comeback possible and gotten me though some tough times.

I think I’m doing pretty well for a 70 year beat up old fart. What do you think?

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One Response to Runner Spotlight – Hit by a Bus

  1. […] Leon got hit by a bus, was in a coma for two months, and was wrecked.  Of course, he’s still running. […]

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