Pro runner steps into Michigan pothole, breaks leg

Posted at 1:10 PM, Aug 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-29 13:10:09-04

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — There’s more evidence of Michigan’s woeful roads: A champion runner says he fractured a leg bone when he stepped into a pothole during a 10-mile (16-kilometer) race in Flint.

Chris Derrick, a three-time U.S. Cross Country champion, posted a photo of his right leg on Instagram. He says he was running in a pack Saturday and couldn’t see the ground ahead of him.

Derrick says he “landed perfectly on the edge of a big ol’ pothole” and fractured his fibula during the Crim Festival of Races. Race officials apologized and said it was an honor to have him. He still hopes to compete in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in February.

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proposed a higher gas tax to fix Michigan’s roads but hasn’t reached a deal with the Republican-led Legislature.

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Recorded my first DNF today, but I think I got my money’s worth. I was running in the pack just before the mile and unfortunately could not see the ground ahead of me. I landed perfectly on the edge of a big ol’ pothole and fractured the head of my fibula. The kindly doctor who read my x-ray said that of the ankle fractures, this is the best one. So I got that going for me 🤷🏻‍♂️. ⠀ It has been an interesting year, in the way that things are “interesting” when your vocabulary fails you. I’ve had two great stretches of training felled by injury. Each time I’ve begun writing a triumphal narrative in my head, only to have the story I’ve shaped come to an abrupt and unexpected end. That, in my opinion, is zero fun. In times like this, before I fully submerge in self pity, I try to remember how lucky I am to even have these opportunities to lose. If a few things had gone differently; if my aerobic system wasn’t so good at transporting oxygen; if my femurs were a bit shorter; if I was never on that travel basketball team with Paul Box and his Mom hadn’t convinced my parents Cross Country would be good for me, I wouldn’t have had all the successes and joy I’ve been lucky to have. I think like most people, I tend to see my achievements as a product of some inherent virtue and my setbacks as a sign of some great cosmic unfairness. But all of it, the triumphs and the failures, it’s all contingent in its way. Like William Munny said, deserve’s got nothing to do with it.

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