Quake survivor finishes 26km race
Quake survivor finishes 26km raceRACHEL YOUNG
There was sweat, but no blood or tears, as a Christchuch woman ran a 26-kilometre race after overcoming horrific injuries from the February 2011 earthquake.
Ann Brower was the sole survivor of the No 3 bus when it was crushed by an unreinforced brick building at 603-13 Colombo St on February 22.
She broke her left leg, both her hips and part of her spine, and one of her hands was crushed.
Doctors told her it would take about 18 months to fully recover, and even then there would be lingering effects.
Brower spent two months in hospital, six months off work and has been undergoing rehabilitation ever since.
The Nelson Events Captain Cook's Landing run, an undulating 26km trail from Ship's Cove to Punga Cove along the Queen Charlotte Track in Marlborough, was held on Saturday.
Brower finished it in three hours, 38 minutes and 59 seconds.
"What slowed me down was my fitness, not my injuries," she said.
"There was no blood, no tears - just sweat.''
Organisers called her an ''inspiration'' for completing it and smiling as she did so.
Before the race, Brower told The Press she just wanted to finish, but hoped to complete it in under 3.5 hours.
"Every step still hurts,'' she said.
''Don't for a second think I'm pain-free.''
Brower had signed up for the race last year, but her injuries prevented her from doing it.
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.
The Lincoln University senior lecturer of public policy ran for 30 seconds last July, followed by nine minutes of walking.
By January she was running nine minutes and walking for a minute.
Since April, she had increased that time, with Saturday's run being her longest, both before and after February 22, 2011.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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