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71-year-old man trains for Bluegrass 10k, recovers from broken leg

71-year-old man trains for 10k despite broken leg recovery
Posted at 6:31 PM, Jul 03, 2024

BOURBON CO., Ky. (LEX 18) — A Bourbon County runner is hitting the pavement months after a broken leg that forced him into an extensive recovery, but he isn't letting that slow his pace.

71-year-old Craig Clark of Paris, Kentucky, has been running since he was a teenager. Joining the track team in high school led him down the path of a love for running.

"Running was just something we loved to do. Got us out of the house, got me out of the house," explains Clark. "Back when I was coming up, that was the only sport. Like, not the only, but it was baseball, football and then track."

Clark has run hundreds of races, including the annual Bluegrass 10,000 and Fun Run, which he will jog in for his 45th year.

"Let's see if I can actually run a 5k. Which was three miles and then when I started, it was like, woah woah, whoa this is, this is what I love doing," exclaims Clark. "Of my age and then doing it too is a blessing. It's a gift from God that he allows me to do this."

But Clark has faced miles of obstacles. 12 years ago, he was fighting prostate cancer and is now cancer free. Several years ago, he underwent a hip replacement and three months ago: "I broke my leg and it was devastating. Very devastating. I thought I was through. I thought it was the end."

He explains how God spoke to him and told him he was going to get through this painful time. Over the next several months, Clark dedicated his time to recovery.

"It was tough. It was tough. I could have gave up. I could have said, no this is it, maybe this is my end but this is not my end," says Clark. "I had to learn how to walk. I had to learn how to go down steps. I had to learn how to get in and out of the car. When my physical therapist said, walk up the road. And he put a band around me, belt around me and walked me up the road."

Through the support of his loved ones, God, and his ability to push past the pain, Clark stands tall after years of physical trauma to tackle another race.

"Start off slow. Find out what you can do, don't do what somebody else does. I don't do what somebody else does. I do what I do," says Clark.

If you'd like to support Clark on his 10k journey, you can cheer on the sidelines at Thursday's Bluegrass 10k race in downtown Lexington. You can find the map of the race here: Map of 10k Race.