By ITU Admin on 31/08/07 at 12:00 am
My story is a little late and will be short because I am dictating it from my hospital bed in Denver. My name is Kathleen Allen and I was registered to compete in the ITU World Championships in Hamburg on September 2nd. My season was going fantastic. I finished 9th in my age group at USAT National Championships in Portland Oregon and qualified for the Worlds in Hamburg. Some other season highlights included top age group finishes at Lake Havasu and the 5430 Triathlon Series. I was also 6th overall at the Subaru US Women’s Triathlon in Naperville, Illinois. Lastly I was first overall at the Tri for the Cure here in Denver in early August 2007 My coach, Frank Senders, was pushing me hard and every workout was making me stronger.
On Friday August 24th I set out on a flat training ride with my brand new aerodynamic helmet, which probably saved my life, in preparation for Germany.. Less than one half a mile from the end of the ride a truck turned in front of me and hit me. The driver never saw me and received a citation from the police for careless driving. I received a concussion, 2 spinal fractures, fractures of both wrists, a rib fracture, a severe thigh hematoma and a right carotid artery dissection. I also received facial lacerations which would have been worse if it were not for my titanium glasses. Due to the severe thigh injury and swelling in that area, I have undergone 5 operations in the last 7 days. Needless to say, the multiple fractures and surgeries have resulted in a lot of pain. Thankfully, after one week, I am out of the ICU.
While I am disappointed that I cannot be in Hamburg to compete, my body is so broken that competition would clearly be impossible. I am honored to be a member of the U.S. team and excited for the race my fellow athletes are about to compete in. Triathlon has given me great determination and I am determined that I will walk out of this hospital.
All my fellow athletes are in my thoughts and in my heart.
By: Kathleen Allen (USA)