Verzbicas On The Comeback Trail

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Nov. 23, 2012
  • Updated Nov. 26, 2012 at 1:11 PM UTC
Lukas Verzbicas is back in action after a near-fatal crash. Photo:

He’s running fast again after a near-fatal bike crash.

Four months ago, one of the best high school milers of all time, Lukas Verzbicas, nearly died during a cycling crash that left the 19-year-old bedridden.

But Verzbicas is back and thankful to be alive.

Yesterday, he took third in the Orland Park Turkey Trot, running an average pace of 5:25 per mile for the 2.5-mile race.

“The fact that I’m able to even be here means so much more to me,” Verzbicas said. “I’ve never appreciated something like life. I always thought about the small things — the racing and the training and all of that. That was all that mattered to me. Now I see the wide spectrum and the big picture.”

Verzbicas is a two-time Gatorade National Runner of the Year. Last year he left the University of Oregon to concentrate on training for triathlon.

His bike crash took place in Colorado Springs when he was heading downhill and slammed into a guardrail. The result: two broken vertebrae, a broken thorax, and a broken clavicle.

For More: South Town Sun Times


Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at 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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