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.”
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