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Runner hit by car during Last Annual Heart of the South road race

Kim McCoy suffered multiple serious injuries after being struck by a car during the Alabama portion of the race

Photo by: Facebook/Kim McCoy

On Wednesday, June 24, Kim McCoy, 37, of New York City, was hit by a car while running the Last Annual Heart of the South (HOTS) road race in Hunstville, Ala. She was rushed to the hospital, and according to a post by her sister in the HOTS Facebook group, McCoy suffered an injury that resulted in the amputation of her right leg above the knee, as well as multiple arm fractures. She was 270 miles into the 340-mile race between West Memphis, Ark., and Castle Rock, Ga. 

Photo: GoFundMe/Jessica McCoy

“As an ultra runner, Kim knows what it is like to face down a long and challenging road, and I know she has the heart and the grit to make a full recovery,” McCoy’s sister, Jessica, wrote on Facebook. “When I spoke with her this morning, she was even joking about how she might be able to get into the Boston Marathon through the Achilles Track Club, and how she might be able to find a right-legged ‘sole mate’ to split the cost of running shoes with.” 

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Jessica wrote that her sister was struck by a car at an intersection with limited visibility. 

“This really sucks, but she is alive, and we are glad that it’s not worse,” Jessica wrote. “However, we both know that this is going to be the longest and hardest road to recovery she’s ever faced, and undoubtedly there will be costs that aren’t covered by insurance. And she will be out of work for a good while.”

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Jessica started a GoFundMe page with a fundraising goal of $50,000. So far, 116 people have donated and raised more than $10,000. 

We reached Laz Lake, aka Gary Cantrell, the race director of LAHOTS, by phone this afternoon. He had actually spoken to McCoy on speakerphone after she came out of surgery, with help from her doctor at the hospital in Huntsville, who contacted Lake via UltraSignup. “She sounded really good,” Laz said. “That was the happiest thing that’s happened all week. I was thrilled to hear her voice.

“She’s a Vol Stater,” he went on, referring to another of his popular Tennessee-based ultras, Last Annual Vol State. “She’s part of the Vol State family. She’s one of the strongest people I know. She just loves this stuff, and unless you love it too, you probably can’t relate to it.”

Laz added that he didn’t have many details about the accident, but that he understood police are investigating. He believes it happened just before dawn, and other runners in the area implied that the vehicle didn’t have its lights on. He said he knows the spot. “You’re crossing a highway, and there is danger, but it’s not a place we were concerned about.”

Laz encourages runners and supporters to make a donation to the GoFundMe page.  

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