This was supposed to be one of those routine trail runs where you go run your 5.0 miles and enjoy getting wet, muddy and dirty, then go home.
At just about the 4.0 mile mark I came upon a young lady crawling on her hands and knees.
Let’s back up a bit first
This was one of those beautiful day as I am writing this the shady window thermometer is reading 81º and no breeze, makes for a pretty warm day for the second day of spring.
I went over to the Messalonskee Stream Trail and ran that. It was a little muddy on the trail, but not too bad, the worst part was where the frost wasn’t completely out of the ground and you would posthole on some of the areas (which is a pain in the butt and makes you sore, when you foot suddenly disappears 6-12 inches lower than you thought you were going to be).
Messalonskee Stream Trail Run 3-21-12
I ran all the way out and even up my nemesis hill that I have never made it up before – not that I was doing better than a survival shuffle up it. Once I hit the power lines though it got pretty damn muddy in several spots. I also finally found the trail that links up to the road the road on the other side, so I was happy with my bit of exploration today, been looking for this connector for a while now.
On the way back, I paid more attention to taking pictures than trying to push the pace and one point I didn’t have much choice about walking up a hill, it was soooooo muddy that I was a lot faster walking than I would have run up it.
1/2 of the hill on the power line, you can't see the rest of it AND yes it was all mud going up it 🙂
Then things got interesting
With about a 3/4 of a mile left, I came up on this girl crawling on the ground with a big dog. It looked like she was looking for something and when I asked if she needed any help, she looked startled and told me she had hurt her ankle and was crawling out to meet her husband who was on his way there.
She told me she had been running and hit a root wrong and fell down. She thought that she had hurt her foot/leg pretty bad.
We were talking and her dog Shalom was being very protective, of course he turned his head just as I took the picture, very beautiful dog Lab/Huskie mix - well mannered.
Looking at her leg, it was pretty swollen, discolored and she was in a lot of pain. I offered to stay with her until the husband got there. She smiled and said she would like that. We tried the over the shoulder with her hopping along, (she was as tall as I am), but didn’t get too far and with my knee I didn’t want to take a chance on a non-emergency carry on my back – the knee is doing great, but that might have been a bit too much.
Her husband got there about 20 minutes later and we fireman carried her for about 1/2 mile, then when the trail got too difficult for us both to carry her, he carried her on his back the rest of the way, while I helped steady him through the muddy areas. He was a lot bigger and younger than I am. You do notice this stamina stuff more as you get older, especially when it involves carrying someone out on rough terrain, especially since I had already run about 4.0 miles of trail before I found her.
I know that it was hard work, but did got her back to the car as fast as we could. She was a real trooper and handled being carried out better than many people I have seen or know would have. Even though she was in a lot of pain and being jostled around was no picnic, she was still joking around and talking with us.
It is a small world, the husband works in the Maintenance Department at my old school and we knew a lot of the same people. I am glad that we got her out of there and they were going to the hospital emergency room when they left the parking lot. They both seem like nice kids (I can say that, they were younger than my own children).
I have a feeling that her ankle was broken from the look of it. Probably will never know, but hope that she is okay.
I got a call from her around 4:00 P.M. and evidently when she fell, she broke her fibula and is now in a cast and on some pain meds. We talked for a couple of minutes. It was nice to hear that while she did break a bone in her leg, that otherwise she is doing okay.
The reality was that
I almost didn’t go there and run today, we had some other stuff going on and I was going to do a quick run in the neighborhood.
Strange how things work out sometimes and you are supposed to be in the right place at the right time. I would like to believe that most people would stop and help out someone they saw hurt on the trail. To me that is just common human decency, to help out someone who is in need and I was glad that I was able to help her out.
This incident really made me think about being more careful when trail running and making sure that I have the correct equipment with me, including my phone (which I forgot – that is how she was able to call me – I had to borrow her phone to call TheWife and let her know what was going on) and really focus on what I am doing when running trails, even if they are in town trails. If you get injured, going cross-country is not usually an option and getting back to the trail head can be an issue.
I am just glad that we were able to get her out safely and that she is okay.
Do you ever think about what you would do if you injured yourself while running on a trail and how you would get back if you broke something in your foot or leg?
Something to think about if you trail run, not to stop you from running trails, but to think ahead.
And Yes I called this a full 5.0 mile run, even though I didn’t run the full distance, we did plenty of sweating to justify it. 🙂