Running is a dangerous sport. If you do it long enough you are bound to experience some type of injury. Many runners suffer through overuse injuries such as Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS), plantar fasciitis, and stress fractures. In these cases the main cause of their injury is due to volume and biomechanics. Other runners will endure injuries that happen during a single run when the unexpected happens. Danger is everywhere. From stepping off a curb and spraining an ankle to automobiles not wanting to share the road, each run has the potential to cause an injury.
A few weeks ago we posted this picture (above) on our facebook page and asked if any other runners had scars they earned while running. Much to our surprise we had over 100 stories shared in less than two hours! It was almost painful to read through some of the stories about blackened toenails and dog bites. Here are just a few of the stories and pictures we received. Don’t read them if you are squeamish!
Cherie Johnson Lost two toenails, many blisters, fell and threw my pelvis out of place, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, strained Achilles tendon, vomiting, peed my pants, chafing, diarrhea, wheezing, chased by a dog, came across a javelina (ran the other way to avoid it), jumped over a rattlesnake and a tarantula on my runs...good news is I haven't given up yet :)
Gina Halbert-Rasinski I ran into a construction sign - it was a bright orange one, but in my defense, I was running against traffic, so it was not orange on the back. Ok, yes, they are VERY large - it was kind of funny, but the big bruise on my arm was hard to explain. Good thing I'm six feet tall or I would have been knocked on my butt!
Laura Samuels LeBlanc I had a neighbor's dog jump up at me. He was a big dog and I didn't realize until the next morning that he had bit me (that's when the teeth mark bruises appeared). Unfortunately, I didn't know the neighbors at all and couldn't place their house. More unfortunate was the several thousands of dollars of rabies shots I had to take as a precaution!
Crystal Beck Hopson Blisters/blood blisters/missing toenails/shin splints/scratches from random things on trails/poison oak....
Michael Moran Slipped on ice and fell, breaking my fibula and shearing a ligament which has left me with a dandy of a scar on my ankle. Surgery to place two screws and a second surgery to take the screws out once it was healed. If the scar doesn't remind me of what happened, the pain still does. Oh well, still running...
Harrison Harmon I stepped on a glass bottle while zoned in during a time trial. It didn't feel great, but wasn't bad. Once I got back, my teammate pointed out I was bleeding profusely. I hid from coach so I could finish my strides and workout. Five hours later, I got 6 stitches.
Sandra Vivas I have been lucky recently, but I got a scar when I was 8 racing & fell while I was racing with some kids in a little village in Nicaragua. I still have the scars, but the most important part of it was that I learned not to ever stay down. Keep going & just do it!
Stephen del Villar It's quite embarrassing really, but for your amusement, here's how I got the scar on my shins: It was a nice crispy day, years back, when I decided to go out for a run in my neighborhood. Twenty or so minutes after having left the house, I noticed I was about to make contact with a "present" left by one of our neighborhood canines, so I tried to veer away from it in an effort to miss it. Well, I avoided it alright, BUT I fell to the ground as I tripped on the uneven pavement. I won't ever forget that day, not to mention the lingering picture that awful dog doo left etched in my memory bank! Have a good running day, everyone!
Nicole Gronek Sometimes I run with my dog-- she's a half pit with LOTS of energy, so it does her good and she behaves really well when we run together. However, one day I was totally in the zone and she spotted a squirrel or cat and took off, dragging me 20 feet thru gravel, mulch and grass before I could get my bearing. My legs were all ripped up. Never caught the squirrel.
Brian Hansen Six inch scar on the shin where the wound exposed the bone. Mt Hood Scramble race, mile 1 of 6, wading through the 30 degree White River and went down on a rock. Ran the rest of the race through the brush and finished with a respectable time!
Rick Roberts Spike scar from a cross country race in high school. Dislocated finger from tripping in the parking lot after a trail run. Knocked myself out slipping on ice a block from my house.
Anna Rossano-Arnold I fell while I was running and broke my elbow and skinned my knee. I did get up and run four miles before I knew it was broke. No wimpy girl here. :)
Bob Garcia Fell while on a jog in Las Vegas last June, ended up with complete rotator cuff surgery. About 25 years ago I ran into a "No Parking" sign and had to get stitches.
Bryce Lambley Went to hurdle a barbed-wire fence the weekend before State Track '80. Upon takeoff I felt the ground give a little under me (probably a mole tunnel), so attempted to steeple the fence as I'd done before. But my toes slipped off the top strand, my leg shot through between the top two strands, yet my body carried over the top and my leg ended up twisted in the fence. Big gash from ankle to knee looked gruesome, but wasn't deep. State 4x8 came off without a hitch, and I even carried a cool wound to boot. :)
Jean Raymond Bury Ending a race on a long downhill stretch in a gully. Must have caught a toe and went sprawling among loose fist size rocks. One nine inch dark bruise that drained into my foot. Three inch long raised scars. Finished the race, but was "bloody last."
Anthony Brooks Shoulder and arm from passing out on treadmill at the gym...just glad the belt didn't erase my face!
Ryan Beastybear Bjellquist-Ledger Running with the Johnny xc boys at like 9 at night and fell randomly when I tripped and landed on a brick by a driveway...the scar looks like an "x" so I always think of it as my "x"c scar. lol
Gary Brimmer Junior Year High School, got tripped on the first turn of a large cross-country invitational race while running at the front, went down hard, lots of people stepped on me. Spike gouges on my ankles, outside of my quad and on my hamstring...calmly waited for the crowd to go over me, got up and finished fourth!!
Matt Lindsey I was 10 miles into the Oil Creek 100 mile trail race and tripped over an old metal wire in the trail. I went down hard and cut up my right knee leaving a nice reminder scar. To make matters worse, during the fall, I tore the ligament that connects the top of the foot and the lower shin. Didn't know that it was torn until my Monday morning visit to the hospital. Still successfully finished all 100 miles though. It is a race and scar to never forget.
The great thing about these stories is not the injuries themselves but the fact that each of these people continues to run and enjoy this sport despite the dangers.
Feel free to share stories of your running misadventures in the comments below. Most importantly, be careful out there!
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