Peter King defies experts to finish Coast to Coast

BRENDON EGAN
Last updated 05:00 17/02/2014
Peter King
DEAN KOZANIC/Fairfax NZ
HARD YARDS: Peter King finished the annual Coast to Coast race as a part of a two-man team, despite almost losing his leg in a work accident in October, 2012.

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Fifteen months ago, Burnham dairy farmer Peter King was told he'd never be able to run again and he'd likely need to have his foot amputated.

On Saturday, he defied the medical experts, completing the Coast to Coast in the two-person teams event with brother-in-law, Ian Walsh.

King's world was turned upside down in October, 2012, when his left foot became jammed in the rotary milking platform of his cowshed. His foot was crushed and he also broke his tibia and fibula and sustained a dislocated ankle in the accident.

The outlook was poor with doctors telling him he would never be able to run again, which was devastating news for the keen multisport enthusiast.

King, 47, who has previously competed in 11 team events of the Coast to Coast, said his recovery was a slow process but he never lost hope of racing again.

Three weeks ago, he went for a practice run and after realising he could race pain-free was a late addition to the Coast to Coast entry list.

"The prognosis wasn't very good at the time. Initially, I thought it might have to come off and I would never run on it again but it's fantastic to be able to get out here and do it," he said.

"It's a great social event and that's half of why we do it as well."

King featured in the 33km mountain run on Friday and in Saturday's 70km cycle into Sumner Beach, and received a loud applause when he crossed the finish line. The "Team Hare and Happy" duo registered the second fastest veteran men's time in the two-day teams race with a combined time of 13hrs, 07min, 54sec.

Walsh said King was a determined individual and admitted it was an emotional feeling when he saw him run into Klondyke Corner to complete the mountain run on Friday. "It was unreal. It was a pretty magical moment when he came in on the run. That's the testing ground."

King said the Coast to Coast was a motivating influence for him in his rehabilitation from his accident and he never lost hope of competing.

"I just wanted to do this again. It was little steps. You kind of need something to push you."

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