The Run Down - The RunVermont Blog

Why I Run: Colleen Kelly Alexander

by jen on August 13, 2012 · 6 comments

in Why I Run

Meet Colleen Alexander… I worked with her a few years ago when her non-profit organization was part of the KBVCM Miles for a Mission program. When I received her Why I Run story this morning I was shocked … she’s been through so much, she’s so strong and she is why I will go out and give blood this week ….. I can’t wait to see Colleen at the 2013 KBVCM.

I use to live in VT and a few years ago had two Common Ground youth five person relay teams run in the marathon.

I now live in CT and moved here to take a job working with another non profit. I was scheduled to run this last marathon with a dear Vermont friend for the two person relay and unfortunately was run over by a freight truck while cycling home from work last October. I did manage to do a half marathon the weekend before this last KBVCM but I did it closer to home with a walker.. walking :)

My injuries included a open book pelvis.. severe leg damage, severe stomach damage, and severe lower back and butt damage. I was in a medically induced coma over a month had over 110 people’s blood donations, and needed to be resusitated twice.

I am about to go into my 15th surgery with four after that.. slowly reconstructing what was trashed.  I continue to try to run, because I’m alive.. I am screwed together.. and wired together.. I now have only another foot of skin to grow.. but I can walk.. so I can hobble.. and with my walker.. I try to jog until the pain tells me to stop.

This past Sunday was my birthday.. and the ten month mark since my accident.. it also happened to be a ten mile race the town next to me, so my dear friend, Julia from VT, that I was supposed to do the marathon with came down and walked and “wogged”  walk/jogged, all ten miles with me.

Running is now more painful than ever.. but it also reminds me that  my heart is pumping blood.. something it failed to do ten months ago when my body simply ran out of it.. it reminds me that I am alive.

Hopefully next year, I can run in the B-town marathon again.. albeit slow, I hope to be back in the Green Mountain state with so many other beautiful people celebrating life.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Holly August 13, 2012 at 10:51 am

OMG!! YOU GO GIRL!! I can’t wait to see you at VCM next May!! Truly amazing!!

2 Courtney Blasius August 13, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Hi, I just wanted to say thank you for posting this incredible tale of perseverance, and determination. I’ve been through a similar experience, though I lost all of my learned ability for controlled movement from an anoxic brain injury (my heart stopped). I was the young woman who ran with a baby-jogger, and no baby. I have balance and usual field issues, and the jogger helps to compensate for both. I’d originally wanted o register for the marathon as a proper participant, and looked at the website for assistance. The website was So userr unfriendly, that I decided not to do the marathon this year. That, however, changed when a registered participant offered me their bib the day before the race. I fully understand, from your point of view, why what I did was wrong, but I am sharing my story today in hopes that this organization will continue to improve their accessibility resources for all participants.
Thank you,
Courtney Blasius

3 DAVEKVT August 27, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Courtney and Coleen, you are both remarkable women and an inspiration to the rest of us lightweights who think a few minor aches and pains are a challenge. You honor us with your presence. I hope VCM can find a suitable way to honor your effort and commitment.

4 Susan September 20, 2012 at 1:47 pm

I wrote a “why I run” back in the spring before the marathon. I also ran the half.
You are a brave woman to keep on running. You are on my mind.

5 Barry Genzlinger November 28, 2012 at 10:40 am

Wow. You go girl! I look forward to running with you in May.

6 Joan Grundhauser November 30, 2012 at 11:10 am

Dearest Colleen, you are incredible. You bring so much courage and passion to everything you do. We Grundhausers have been to the VKBCM only once to see John’s aunt run, but you can bet your boots we’ll be there with bells on next May! Best wishes for your continued recovery <3

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