FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – One-point-one miles. That’s all Mark Bloom had left to finish the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon.
“I tried to walk sideways and about fell over. I tried to walk backwards and about fell over. I even thought if I could crawl somehow. I was so frustrated I was at mile 12 and I wasn’t going to be able to finish that race,” Bloom said.
Bloom, an attorney, started running about five years ago to relieve stress and it was an easy exercise to fit into his schedule. After running a few 5K races and the Fort4Fitness mini marathon, he and his running buddy set their sites on the biggest mini in the country.
“In 2012, I took the adventure of going to Indianapolis and running with another 35,000 people and was having a ball,” Bloom said.
He set a goal to finish it in an hour and 45 minutes. The day was going great and he was on pace to finish in an hour and 40 minutes. But at mile six, he felt a pop in his right leg.
“Someone cut in front of me and I checked up and felt the pop. I thought, ‘Oh, that must be the muscle I’ve been having problems with,’” he said. “I kept running and it got slower and became a walk and became something I can’t imagine what it looked like going down the street.”
Bloom thought if he stopped to stretch, he could make the muscle fell better. He had made it all the way to the 12-mile mark, but once he stopped, he didn’t start again. Another runner helped him to the side of the road.
“My femur had snapped at the ball of the femur that goes into the hip,” he said. “They think I had a stress fracture before the race. When someone came across and I checked up going from a fast clip to almost stopping, that caused it to break.”
Two days later, Bloom had surgery. The day after that, he signed up for the 2013 Mini-Marathon.
“We tell our kids to finish what you start and set goals for yourself. So, I’m trying to be an example to my own children for their sports and the things they do in life,” Bloom said.
Bloom had a plate and two screws put in to repair his leg. But, they hurt him when he’d run. In December 2012, he had another surgery to take them out. He was just finishing up physical therapy when the 2013 race came around, but he wasn’t cleared for long-distance running. Now he’s been training again and is ready to go for 2014.
“I don’t care about my time. I just want to have a good time and finish the race,” he said. “I’m sure on race day when we’re all in these corrals and 35,000 people are getting ready to run I’ll be thinking about what happened previously and be a little bit hesitant, but I’m looking forward to that finish.”
The Mini-Maration sent Bloom a medal after the 2012 race, but he said because he didn’t really finish, he didn’t really earn it. He keeps it in his sock drawer. He’s excited to get a new medal this year. One, he said, he will have truly earned.
“I’ll remember where it popped and what I was doing and more importantly when I hit mile 12 and where I sat on the side of the road for a while,” Bloom said. “When I go by that mile I’m sure I’ll have a smile on my face until the end of the race.”