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Karen Harewood jogging back to happiness

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RUNNING BRAVE Karen Harewood has stunned her medical team – by running again only four months after suffering a career-threatening injury at the European Indoor Championships.


The 31-year-old GB 800 metres international star suffered such a shattered thigh bone in the fall during a race at Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena in March that emergency doctors believed she must have been in a motor accident.


But it never crossed her determined mind that she would never race again, though the consensus was that her sporting dreams were over.


And after weeks of intensive physiotheraphy at the Olympic Medal Institute (OMI) at Northwick Park, Middlesex, and the UK Athletics High Performance Centre at Loughborough, she is delighted to say: “I’ve been able to start jogging on a special treadmill which allows you to partially suspend your body weight. I can jog with 80% of mine!


“I am now back in full cross training – if there is such a thing – and doing sessions on the bike, in the pool and on a rowing machine as well as lots of strength and conditioning.


“I am getting fantastic medical support down at the Olympic Medical Institute and up at Loughborough and am extremely grateful for the support which UK Athletics have shown me.”


Her coach, John Nuttall, said: “Karen has some special qualities, of which bloody-mindedness has come in extremely handy. It was one of the worst injuries to an athlete the medics have seen. What she is able to do after four months is absolutely awesome.


“The staff at the OMI have been brilliant. Karen spends a week at a time working with them. Then she moves home to Corby and spends the next week travelling to Loughborough to work with physios Renee Thompson and Alison Latham under the watchful eyes of UKA’s doctors, Bruce Hamilton and Nick Pearce.


“She works up such a sweat on the trampette that we have to take it outside for her to exercise in the fresh air. And I’ve spotted her running down the home straight of the track. She’s moving very steadily and she still has a limp but she’s making absolutely sensational progress.


“There is now a distinct possibility that she will be able to compete again next year – though that scenario seemed impossible only a few weeks ago.”