A swollen Achilles and three weeks to go.

John Taylor -  North Downs 100

John Taylor –  North Downs 100

When a charity walk left John Taylor injured, with his planned North Downs 100 mile race only three weeks away, the words he feared hearing most from the Sportswise team were, “you might have to sit this one out.”  He told us what happened next:

“It was a nerve-racking wait.  Comparing my two ankles, you could see clearly that one was twice the size of the other.  Sportswise Physiotherapist Maryke Louw greeted me with a smile and the usual informal chat about running that put me a little more at ease. After a thorough examination and some immediate therapy, I broached the subject of running the NDW100 in just three weeks. Without the hint of a raised eyebrow Maryke directed me into the gym area to take me through some heel raising exercises to strengthen my ankle and a running programme that would ease me back on to the trails. There was no mention of “sitting anything out” and I left the clinic feeling positive about my potential recovery.

Over the next few weeks I stuck to Maryke’s programme like glue. I kept to running times and rest days as instructed and at 0600hrs on 8th August I lined up at the start of the NDW100 in Farnham, Surrey with 103 miles ahead of me – an epic run across the North Downs with steep climbs, including the renowned Box Hill, and plenty of cow hoof cratered fields. As the race continued I gained more confidence and started to push myself a little harder. I remained careful until perhaps the last 10 miles, at which point I went for it and flew through the concluding section of the race, finishing in a respectable 22:25:46 and in 21st place.

A huge thank you to Maryke Louw and the team at Sportswise that keep us runners running and achieving our sometimes forlorn hopes alive!”