Survivor's recovery builds to 26km race

RACHEL YOUNG
Last updated 05:00 27/07/2012
  	 Ann Brower
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/Fairfax NZ

HARD WORK: Earthquake survivor Ann Brower trains at Lincoln University with fitness consultant Jayne Smith.

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Every step will hurt when a Christchurch woman who suffered horrific injuries in the February 2011 earthquake runs a 26-kilometre race this weekend.

Ann Brower was the sole survivor as bricks crushed 13 people on the No 3 bus on Colombo St on February 22, 2011.

She broke her left leg, both her hips, part of her spine and crushed one of her hands.

Doctors told her it would take about 18 months to fully recover, and even then there would be lingering effects.

The Lincoln University senior lecturer of public policy spent two months in hospital, six months off work and has been undergoing rehabilitation ever since.

Shortly before the quake she had signed up for the Captain Cook's Landing run, an undulating 26km trail from Ship's Cove to Punga Cove along the Queen Charlotte Track in Marlborough.

While still in hospital, Brower decided that completing the run was still a goal as there was "no chance" she was giving up on life.

"It's work bloody hard or give up all your hobbies," she said.

Brower ran for 30 seconds last July, followed by 9 minutes of walking.

"Every step still hurts," she said. "Don't for a second think I'm pain-free."

By January she was running nine minutes and walking for a minute.

Since April, that has increased to 45 minutes of running, with a record two hour and 15 minute run recently. She will put her body to the test tomorrow.

She does not have a plan for the race, except to walk the rougher parts, as she just wants to finish.

But the self-confessed "slow runner" hopes to complete the course in under 3 hours.

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