Podiatrist - New Iberia
1100 Andre Street Suite 202
New Iberia, LA 70563
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Running events that involve obstacles are becoming more popular with runners and non-runners alike. Events like Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash, and Spartan Races are getting jotted down on more calendars each year, and are motivating new fitness goals and bragging rights on Facebook. Many of these runs boast strenuous physical exertion while providing a fun, often team oriented environment. This combination attracts many physically fit individuals as well as those who haven’t been keeping up with their health as zealously. These events usually require a release form in case of injury, which is why it’s important for participants to be aware of the obstacles they will be undertaking.

At the Silverdale Mud Run, a police offer who participated decided to sue the organizers involved after shattering her ankle on an obstacle at the event. Two others also joined the suit after ankle injuries and foot fractures sustained at the same obstacle, called “Gravity’s Revenge”, which displayed a steep slope that allowed participants to slide down into a water bed on a tarp. The slope was cleared of debris and kept slick to assist in the slide, but participants argued there was no regulation of speed down the slope. Runners that slid down the slope were stopped abruptly by an impact of rocks at the bottom of the obstacle. This impact, mixed with the long run the participants had endured, caused ankle and foot fractures, according to the runners. Fractures can involve long rehabilitation and can make it difficult to return to a career that involves long hours on your feet. This was the case for Wendy Davis, the police officer who sustained an ankle fracture from the event.

Although these events can be an exciting change from the same gym routine, it is important for participants to be aware of all the obstacles at an event. Most events provide a detailed description of the obstacles that will be present and all events provide alternatives for people who are not comfortable doing a certain obstacle, or provide ways to bypass obstacles. Participants should be aware of their limits with these events—there are not special medals for the people who do every obstacle and get hurt!  Things that involve slopes, jumps, or twisting can put you more at risk for an injury, especially when you’re muscle are fatigued and not working at their best.

If you anticipate running in a “Mud Run”, or any outdoor course for that matter, be sure to look at all the obstacles involved and map out your personal route for the race, including which obstacles you may want to bypass to ensure your safety. Take the advice of the training regimens provided by the races, and know your own limits as to what events may be too strenuous for your activity level. As always, Have Fun!

If you do experience an injury after a race or event, be sure to schedule an appointment with Dr. Purdy at The Foot Clinic. It’s important to pay attention to pain and not mistake “routine soreness” after an event with a serious injury. Listen to your body, and what doesn’t quite feel right probably isn’t right!

Dr. Jon Purdy

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