It’s easy to forget that behind the blisters, sweat and tears of determined triathletes rests a real person, who also had to take their first steps in the triathlon world. True inspiration isn’t something you necessarily find in the gym. Sometimes the best motivation can come from reading about the triumphs, lows and accomplishments of your fellow athletes!
Last July Jason Hitchen, from Manchester experienced every athlete’s worst nightmare – an unexpected road collision while he was training for an event. Cycling on the Pembrokeshire roads in preparation for Ironman 2017, he was hit by a car that suddenly turned into his direction of travel…
As a result of the accident Jason sustained 6 double fractured ribs, a collapsed lung, grade 5 dislocation and separation of his AC joint, muscle and tissue damage to his left thigh, alongside several cuts and bruises. After being air lifted to Morrison hospital by the Welsh Air Ambulance and spending two weeks undergoing multiple surgeries, it came at no surprise that he was told he would probably never swim again and would struggle to ride a bike or run long distances – the dreaded words an athlete never wants to hear.
Determined to not let these words be true, Jason completed 8 months of physio and numerous procedures all to start training for what would be his first event back after the collision… The Long Course Weekend! Of course this has not been an easy road, Jason says “My training has been hard and very frustrating at times. In the past I’ve completed many Ironman triathlons so learning to swim again and bike/ run only short distances was very frustrating. But hopefully I will be ready for the LCW in July.
I adapted my training by doing more strength and conditioning work in the gym also yoga and core work to help build muscle and strength as I had a lot of muscle wastage due to my accident.”
Jason goes on to tell us that since the accident he has done a lot of charity work for the Welsh Air Ambulance to help raise the £1,500 it cost to lift him to hospital! He also went on to say his biggest challenge was getting the confidence to get back on his bike on the road, but with the help from his friends and family he’s managed to put the crash behind him in hope to complete the LCW and to carry on doing the sport that he loves!
“I think the key to anyone coming back from an injury is support from their family and friends”. Jason’s wife Sarah and daughter Ella have been the support system helping Jason back to doing what he loves and will both be running the LCW 5K to be part of Jason’s journey back to a full recovery!
Jason’s determination to recover from such a fearful accident is an inspiration to never give up and keep pushing! Best of luck to Jason at this years LCW!