A Near Death Experiences on a Training Run

I just thought I would share a recent dicey moment with you all. As the title suggests, “near death” is perhaps a little of an exaggeration, but it caused me a degree of concern at the time!!

I was on business in Birmingham at the beginning of the week and on Tuesday morning I went for a run along the canal to Bournville and back. It was one of those runs that just felt good. I was relaxed, moving well and enjoying myself.

At a point no more than a quarter of a mile from my hotel I had to cross a side street. It wasn’t terribly busy but there was a reasonable flow of traffic. Looking ahead I judged the point at which I would be able to cross. On reaching that point I stepped off the kerb, right foot first, into a parking bay at the side of the road. I was beginning my next stride leading with the left when my right ankle twisted to a degree that ankles really shouldn’t. I had managed to plant my foot in a small pothole, not much wider than my foot and about six inches deep. Had I stepped of the kerb a few inches sooner, or later, I would probably not have encountered it.

The matter was exacerbated by the fact that I was mid-stride and my right knee decided to come out in sympathy with my ankle, causing my right leg to completely collapse beneath me. Now, somehow, I managed to exert enough force through my left leg to enable me to avoid falling flat on my face, but this had the adverse effect of sending me lurching towards the road proper and into the path of a 7 tonne lorry. In a moment of panic driven inspiration I reached out with my left hand and pushed hard off the ground, thus spinning myself around full circle and, thankfully, away from the oncoming lorry (which, by the way, did not appear to slow at any point!).

I stood for a few moments to take stock. I had a slightly painful ankle (though not painful enough to stop me jogging back to the hotel) but was otherwise unscathed and, most importantly, I was stood on the pavement and not splattered across the front of a lorry.

Panic over, I returned to my hotel and still had the feeling that it had actually been a bloody good run!!

Anyway, I’m sure this is mighty tame in comparison to some of the experiences others have had but thought I’d post it as a starting point. Has anyone got a story to add?



  • Blimey!

    Can't offer anything anywhere near as nasty as that. I would suggest that where 7 tonne lorries are involved, "near death" is actually not that much of an exaggeration at all.

    It is interesting how much potential there is for freak injury while out running, especially on roads. I was trotting along a wide pavement on a quiet road in Regent's Park a couple of weeks ago and for some reason was running quite close to the parked cars at the side of the road. I had to take some fairly swift evasive action after a passenger side door flew open straight in front of me - my fault to be honest, as I should have been running clear of them. But a hazard all the same and I'll be wary of it from now on.

    While on Primrose Hill yesterday, I ran under a horse chestnut tree, which obviously at this time of the year can be pretty hazardous underfoot. Imagine me having to come on this forum and saying that my previous 14 weeks training for the Dublin Marathon was all for nothing because I'd gone base over apex on a conker!

    Be careful all...it's dangerous out there!!!
  • DW
    .. or been knocked out by falling as you pass (the risk of which caused Norwich council to fell some otherwise healthy trees earlier this year)
  • Amazing how it's the little things that can cause the major accidents, isn't it?
    This morning, out for a run in the sun along a quiet country lane. Didn't really think about it, but the car drivers were driving into the fairly low sun. Mr Idiot comes haring along (probably late for work), using his mobile phone so only driving one handed. Didn't see me until the last minute when he hauled the car across the road one handed, clipped the verge on the other side and drove on. I had leapt into the nettles and hawthorn. He would have possibly missed me, but it was close. The adrenaline was certainly pumping for the rest of the run home.
  • Strangely enough the lorry was signwritten with the name "Chestnut Catering" on the side.................

    ...........It wasn't really...Just couldn't resist. There would have been something a bit Twilight Zone-ish if it had though.
  • Hi Dangly Spice

    I bet the adrenaline did really kick in. Lucky you were able to take evasive action.

    A friend of my Mother-in-Law's was out running one evening a while back. Some idiot flew round the corner and knocked her down. Thankfully he had the decency to stop which meant that an ambulance got to her in time, but she's not walked since.

    (God, that sounds terribly Prophet of Doom-like....sorry)

  • Last year in the build up to FLM2002 (sorry, that's this year, but in running terms the year starts from then!) I was about 200 yards from the end of a 22 mile run when I managed to catch my foot in one of those cable TV loops that sticks out from the pavement, which send me staggering extremely off balance into a busy major road.

    All good fun after that far!

  • Thing is, don't you find that when those sorts of things happen you're actually more bothered that it puts you on a bit of a downer about an otherwise good run as opposed to worrying that you might not actually been running again but for some unbelievable luck/innate survival instinct?
  • Blimey! I'm sticking to running small circles around the living room in future.
  • On a recent Sunday morning club run, a group of us were running off road across a moor and came to a double style with a bridge over a small stream. The first five runners crossed unscathed, the sixth complained of being stung, but escaped in one piece. The seventh runner, our Club Chairman nicknamed "Junior", was less lucky and got stung several times including once in the mouth. The rest of us took a detour avoiding the style. Evidently we had disturbed a wasp's nest between the two styles.

    Within minutes of the attack, Junior suffered an anaphylactic reaction and began tearing off his trainers and socks. Luckily we were near a village with a public phone that worked and within 15 minutes an ambulance was at the scene. Junior passed out before we could get him in the ambulance.

    We spent the rest of the day hoping he would be OK. It wasn't until 12 hours later that Junior phoned to say he had just been released from hospital. Thankfully he recovered quickly and was out running again within a week. It was a close call and, needless to say, we don't go near that style any more. It's made us think twice about running alone off road. Without help it could have been curtains for junior!

    On a brighter note, the incident provided us with plenty of bee and wasp jokes for weeks and there were rumours that we would be changing our club colours -- to black and white stripes!

  • Whoops! That should be black and yellow stripes.
  • Early last year I was walking my dogs in some local woodland when I heard a creaky/crashing/thudding noise and thought 'hello, that's a tree come down somewhere'. Rounded the next bend and there, right across the path, was what had been a very fine beech tree.
  • Mike - That story about your mate really sounds a bit too close for comfort. My experience seems more surreal (is that what I mean?) in as much as I came to no harm. Your mate's actually really was a "near death experience". It must have been a really scary situation for him, you and your fellow runners.

    Still, at least you can laugh about it now.....

  • On the subject of stuff falling out of trees, inflicting injury and being cut down... In Darwin (North Australia) the authorities have decided to cut down many of the large coconut trees that shade the streets due to the large number of compensation claims from people getting smacked on the head by falling coconuts!!!
  • Once more on the subject of things falling out of trees (and I apologise in advance for this)

    What's green and brown, has eight legs, and if it jumped on you from a tree it'd kill you?

    A snooker table.

    (Laugh? You thought you'd never start?
  • Sez my wife: "I thought they had six legs!"
  • Six? Eight? What's a couple of legs between friends?............ooerr!
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