Edinburgh marathon runner completes race with broken leg

Adamant to cross the finish line despite searing pain for 10 miles an intrepid runner discovered he had completed the Edinburgh Marathon with a broken leg.

Tuesday, 28th May 2019, 6:46 pm
Mike Lewis-Copeland

Mike Lewis-Copeland, 39 felt a twinge at mile 16, near Prestonpans, but rode the wave of adrenaline, and his own determination, to finish the race in 4 hours 30 seconds.

It was only after a cautionary trip to minor injuries that Mike was told he had fractured his fibula.

“The nurse asked me if I’d fallen in a pothole or if there had been an impact but nothing had happened,” Mike explained. “Obviously I didn’t thing it was a fracture. I just kept focussing on finishing it, and would worry about the pain after it.

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Mike Lewis-Copeland

“I had been joking on the train over how stupid it would be to keep going with a break and now here I am. I thought it was maybe a tendon but had no idea I had fractured it.

It did get to the stage that I was limping a lot and at times having to drag my leg but I just kept counting down the miles."

After suffering a minor muscular injury during the London Marathon in April, Mike knew it would be harder to stop and start again so just "grizzed it out".

"I was like Dory singing 'just keep swimming' in the Finding Nemo film. I kept saying to myself 'just keep running, just keep running'.

"I was thinking that I only had 10 miles to go, then 9 miles, then 8 miles and I counted all the way down knowing that after I had crossed the finish line I could sit down and deal with the problem. The pain was totally different to injuries I had experienced before.

After resting at home in Kelty on Sunday, Mike knew on Monday he would need to get proper treatment to treat what he thought was a tendon problem.

"Running is a big thing for me and I was really looking forward to taking part in my first ultramarathon in July," Mike said. "So I knew I needed to have someone take a look at it and after some poking and prodding from the nurse and an x-ray I was told it was a fracture, likely the result of an early stress fracture.

"I have no idea how I managed to keep going - a mix of determination and adrenaline I reckon. It must have dulled the pain because I tried to make the kids beds and that was harder and more painful than running the marathon!"

With only seven of the 13 races he had planned to run this season complete, Mike accepts he might have to put off competing again until next year. But with months of rehabilitation ahead of him is focussing on the silver lining.

He said: "Next year I will be going again - I'm really lucky because the bones are in perfect alignment, it could have been a lot worse."