KATIE Damer’s completion of the Milltown Races Oldham Half Marathon was truly inspirational.
The 20-year-old university student fought through the pain barrier to complete the 13.1-mile run.
It prompted an emotional post on Facebook which read: “Five years ago around this time the hospital said I would never walk again without a walking aid.
“Today I ran the hardest half marathon in the UK in 2hrs 20min. Your mental attitude is everything. I’m off for a vodka or 10.”
Katie will probably be on medication for the rest of her life when, aged 15, she was involved in a collision with a lorry as she cycled home from school in Crumpsall.
She sustained ligament damage to her knee but, more seriously, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) which affects the nervous system.
Katie, who is studying for an acting degree at Chichester University, said: “Basically your body thinks it is injured and in pain, even when you aren’t.
“There is no cure and I am still on medication and will probably be for the rest of my life.
“There are still times when my legs swell up and turn purple in colour.”
Katie was told she would not walk again without an aid and for the first 18 months after the accident used crutches and even a zimmer frame after suffering a trapped nerve in her arm using crutches.
She had never previously run for more than 20 minutes but after later completing a 10k she signed up for the Oldham Half Marathon during a “drunken night out”.
Katie described completing the half marathon as a tremendous mental and physical achievement saying she had “twinges” in her knee.
She said: “To complete one of the hardest half marathons when told I would not walk again without an aid was an amazing achievement.
“I am still in pain and get flare-ups and sometimes it is so bad I need to use crutches.
“it is a huge physical challenge for a normal runner to push through barriers, but on top of that I had pain and had to push my body to the limit.
“There were a few moments when I contemplated dropping out and it was an amazing and unbelievable feeling to get to the finish line having completed it.”
Katie is relishing a new challenge as she now wants to run a full marathon and has earmarked Manchester in April.