Beverley 10k - the road to recovery for Oliver

Oliver relaxed

On 9 October 2011 the car that Oliver Johnston was travelling in, as he made his way back from the Leon 10k in Spain, left the road, at speed and smashed into a concrete bridge. It was a miracle that he was pulled out of the wreckage alive and he was told that he would never run again. Last weekend he proved the surgeon wrong as he completed the Beverley 10k in less than an hour!

Oliver has been keeping us posted on his progress and earlier this week sent through this exciting news:

I have worked very, very hard at my rehabilitation, down at the gym, in the pool, attending physiotherapy and various medical treatments. Thank you for the Sennheiser headphones that have been used week in, week out as I sweat the big stuff down in the gym.The thumping bass has helped to distract me from the pain and suffering of tortuous rehabilitation exercises.

Now there is some news. I needed a goal, a motivation and a test, so I entered the 2013 Beverley 10km road race event, which took place this Sunday gone.

I had always thought right from the off, in intensive care, that I could get back to racing form. I now realise that that ambition and my perceived timescales involved were pie in the sky. However, I reached a point in my recovery where I thought that I could give it a go and, given what happened with the horrific accident, why wait? If not now, then when? If not you, then who? The Beverley 10k is a great event, in a great setting, with a great atmosphere and it is my home race.
This was my first race back, but it may also have been my last. There was no chance of blitzing round in sub-40 minutes time. The aim was to finish and to do so within the 80 minutes time limit. That was challenge enough. I did not do any running-specific training for this event - placing for a prize was not the aim! I knew there would be pain, but I was determined to do it. 
I completed the course in 57 minutes, 59 seconds - about as good as I could realistically have expected (I harboured secret ambitions to break an hour, if my body could handle the effort) and an awesome payback for all the effort that I have put in and for all your support.
A main regional paper published today an in-depth feature on my story and participation, which you can read at the following link:

Literally, before I could run (sort of, I am nowhere near Mo Farah standard) I had to walk, and before that I had to be able to sit up and then stand. It is a great feeling to have achieved something that I was told I would not be capable of. I will not run as I did before, if at all regularly again - I have been in a cave of pain since Sunday - but completing a race was an ambition, a motivation, something difficult, and I nailed it.

Oliver - we are so very proud of you and your inspiration to the whole runbritain community! Keep us posted with all of your news.