Monday, January 28, 2008

Gleason Returns from Accident with Near-PR

The results are in: Getting run over by a truck will cost you nearly a second over 3000 meters.

Brandon Gleason, the Hamline University junior who survived being run over by a truck last winter while he was on a training run, returned to competition Saturday running 8:34.45 at the Iowa State Open 3000m. His time was, mind-bogglingly, less than a second slower than the PR he set last year, prior to the accident.

In an e-mail to Down the Backstretch the yesterday, Gleason (pictured) joked that he thought he might have run a lap short in the race, but then admitted, " ... I looked down at my right leg and I just slapped my scars and thought, "You did it."

The accident last February had left Gleason with his tibia protruding from his leg after a truck running a stop sign rolled over both of his legs. He now runs with the scars, hardware fastening his compound-fractured tibia together, and persistent knee pain.

Gleason said he was targeting a time around 8:45 for the race on ISU's 300 meter oval for his return to competition after nearly a year.

"But when the gun went off, it felt liked everything came back," the Kasson-Mantorville alum said. "I got out towards the front right away. There were two guys that gapped the field right away but I just had to tell myself, "RUN YOUR RACE." However, instead of running 70 for the first quarter I came through in 67 and it felt good and relaxed surprisingly. Then my next 300 was about 50 seconds. [66+ for 400m.]

Last year, Gleason opened his accident-abbreviated indoor season with his PR 8:33.51 3000m at St. Olaf.

Gleason said the impressive run doesn't change his goals for the young track season.

"No, not really because my real test will be Iowa State in three weeks," he said referring to the 5000 meter race which could qualify him for NCAA Indoors. "I just want to stick to my training routine and not do anything crazy that might hurt my future goals.

"I just need to remember that I have to do what is best for my current state and that's all I can ask for. BUT, I would really like to provo in the 5K in three weeks and, if something more than that happens well, then it just goes to show that nothing is impossible."

As he has throughout the months since his accident, Gleason highlighted his teammates' role in his return.

"Even though I am happy with my time," he said, "what I will take away from this meet is the fact that I have some of the best teammates anyone could have. I just remember the whole team cheering and getting louder with each lap and without them, this just wouldn't be as much fun."

You can find DtB's story about Gleason from before Saturday's race HERE.

You can find the report of Gleason's accident last year HERE.

Photo courtesy of Hamline University.

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