Jesse Thomas, co-founder of Picky Bars, triathlete and husband to running legend Lauren Fleshman, set an unofficial world record for 5K run on crutches on Sunday morning in 32:43 during the Wings for Life run for spinal cord research. That’s five 6:32 kilometres with only one foot available.
Thomas is dealing with a fracture of his navicular (one of the bones in the midfoot) and can’t currently run. His 5K was in support of the Wings for Life virtual app run, in which thousands of people around the world came together for the annual Wings for Life run, either physically or virtually. Starting at 7:00 a.m. EDT, runners in seven countries simultaneously ran 5K using the Wings for Life virtual run app to raise money for the foundation, which funds research into spinal cord injuries.
5k Crutch at 4am this morning @WFLWorldRun Charity Run – 32:43, maybe unofficial world record? Hahaha. Definitely up there on my different/crazy/dumb ideas and gonna be real sore, but happy to finish. You can donate to support Spinal Cord research here https://t.co/TyOuD744Tt pic.twitter.com/fpuemsDeIr
— Jesse Thomas (@jessemthomas) May 5, 2019
The previous 5K crutching record was held by Derrick Hamel at 32:55 and was set on April 22, 2016.
Thomas tweeted post-race, “Definitely up there on my different/crazy/dumb ideas and gonna be real sore, but happy to finish.”
In a related story, gymnast David Mzee was able to walk the race in Switzerland on Sunday using a walker, for the first time since sustaining a spinal cord injury almost 10 years ago, thanks to research funded by Wings for Life. An article in the Guardian describes his treatment, which involves electrical stimulation of the spine.