In­spired by in­jury

Adam Camp­bell’s in­cred­i­ble come­back

Trail Running (UK) - - Mountain Running -

Adam Camp­bell was one of the world’s top trail run­ners when he suf­fered a 300ft fall when rock climb­ing in the Cana­dian moun­tains in Au­gust 2016. When his climb­ing part­ners hur­ried down to him, in their minds it was to re­trieve a body.

A month later, while still in a hos­pi­tal bed, he en­tered the bal­lot for the Hardrock 100 where the pre­vi­ous year he’d fin­ished third. Al­though it was 10 months away he didn’t be­lieve he would be in a state to com­plete it. Not only did he get through the bal­lot, he crossed the line in 33 hours with pins in his ver­te­brae and hip still hold­ing him to­gether. It was a phe­nom­e­nal achieve­ment.

“The fact I’m alive, I can’t at­tribute that to any­thing other than luck,” said Camp­bell two years on from the ac­ci­dent, while in Lon­don pro­mot­ing the Arc’teryx-backed film

about his mirac­u­lous re­turn to com­pe­ti­tion. “I was wear­ing a hel­met and car­ry­ing a rope on my back, which pro­tected my spine from more se­ri­ous dam­age.”

The Cana­dian trail 50-mile record-holder also recog­nises the part played by his fel­low climbers that day – Nick El­son and Dakota Jones. “If you’re go­ing to have a moun­tain ac­ci­dent,” he says. “Have two of the fastest moun­tain run­ners in the world with you.”

Adam adds that, if they hadn’t planned their trip so care­fully to co­in­cide with good weather, the res­cue ser­vices wouldn’t have been able to fly in a he­li­copter and he would have died due to blood loss.

Camp­bell is a for­mer in­ter­na­tional triath­lete who con­verted to trail run­ning. The change came when he re­alised he wouldn’t make the 2008 Olympics. He said: “I loved triathlon train­ing but it didn’t suit me very well. I saw a pic­ture of Scott Jurek run­ning through the for­est. I don’t know why this pic­ture at­tracted me, but he had a tiny crop-top shirt on with this long-flow­ing pony­tail and a dog chas­ing him and I thought, ‘I want to be do­ing what he’s do­ing.’ I re­mem­ber read­ing about him run­ning 100 miles and thought that sounded re­ally cool.”

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