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Woman Returns To Racing After Devastating Car Crash

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published May. 4, 2011
  • Updated May. 5, 2011 at 11:08 AM UTC
After a devastating car crash seven years ago, Jill Hamill is back running 3-hour marathons. Photo: PhotoRun.net

After a devastating car crash seven years ago, Jill Hamill is back running 3-hour marathons. Photo: PhotoRun.net

She didn’t think she’d ever run again.

When Jill Hamill broke her neck in a car accident seven years ago, she was told her sporting dreams were over. The horrendous incident left her with a fractured skull and severe spinal injuries. For six months, she learned how to use her legs again.

Last weekend, Hamill pulled off a feat her doctors thought impossible: she finished a marathon. Equally impressive was her finishing time at the Belfast Marathon–3:13, which was good for seventh in the women’s race and a 37-minute PR.

“When I had the accident I was in a full body cast for four months and then in a neck collar,” she recalls. “I wasn’t a runner before but I had been involved in sport and it was a major blow to learn that I might not be able to walk again.”

Hamill began training with her friends once the feeling returned to her legs.

“I remember being in pieces at the end of my first run,” she said. “I would run for three or four minutes at a time and I would come back in a lot of pain.”

For More: Belfast Telegraph

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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