By Mathias Eichler
Winter, trails, darkness, and all the weather.
One last hurrah before the end of the year. Runners, get ready for a fun and festive holiday treat along the trails of Squaxin Park.
Next big “adventure”: 2 major hip surgeries in August.
First off: ‘Gute Besserung’ and all the luck and well-wishes and speedy recovery and stuff for you Kaytlyn. This is massive decision, pro athlete or not.
One other thing that this made me think of is how when I was younger pro soccer player who got injured were off the field for the rest of the season, often their career altered. Nowadays when a player injures themselves it results in maybe a 4 weeks break. The teams, now employ enough staff to ‘take care of their valuable asset’. And while this in pro soccer might be an economic decision above all, the result is that the player doesn’t have to walk through this alone.
In our sport the understanding is that a pro athletes might get a stipend to run (mostly to be an influencer, let’s be honest), an annual salary of sort, but of course ‘health insurance’ isn’t considered or covered in this. In a recent survey Ultra Running Magazine conducted only 3% of the athletes who anonymously completed it report that they receive 100% of their health insurance covered, and that included 30% of runners from Europe, so this is not even a comment on the abysmal state of American health insurance. But there’s more than the actual financial coverage and that is the support from a team which understands and cares and helps make decisions. As a pro trail runner you mainly fly solo – when you win you’re on top of the world, when you face decisions like this who do you turn to? Your sponsor?