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Running

Runner’s World Article: “The Reanimation of Alison”

Alison Delgado, a runner, was nearly killed while riding her bicycle; her own husband (a fellow doctor) was part of the rescue effort. Despite her injuries she came back and is running (and winning) again. Amazing story in the June 2012 issue of Runner’s World Magazine

It’s late afternoon, early last October, and runners and their families and friends have gathered in Cincinnati’s Ault Park for the popular 5K known as the Reggae Run. The brisk air carries the scent of grilled meat and the metallic twang of steel drums. Vendors set up tents, adding to the party-like atmosphere of the race in which runners often sport fake dreadlocks tucked into red, yellow, and green Rasta tams and call out a spirited “Ya, mon!” to cheering spectators.

Near the starting line, where a dozen or so top runners stretch and jog in place, Alison Delgado scans the crowd of spectators. She’s a slight, 28-year-old local runner with auburn hair and a smattering of freckles. Spotting her husband, she waves him over.

“Tim, I gotta run fast,” she tells him, her hazel-colored eyes darting back and forth.

A year ago, Tim might have just nodded in agreement, but these days encouraging his wife’s competitive nature is not his priority. “Ali,” he tells her. “Remember, relax, have fun.” Then they exchange a quick kiss, and Tim steps back into the crowd.

Moments later, the starting gun fires, sending nearly 4,000 runners off through the undulating park. Tim, slim but athletic, quickly turns away from the bubbling scene and hurries toward the park’s summit, which offers a panoramic view of the city. He wants to be in position near the finish line before Alison arrives.

On paper Alison should be a contender in the women’s race. Two months earlier, in another 5-K, she PR’ed with a time of 18:39. Even more impressive is that at the 2005 Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon, when she was just 22 and a recent college graduate about to enter medical school, she won her debut marathon. She crushed a field of 1,467 women in 3:03:52, three minutes, 40 seconds faster than the second-place finisher. “When I crossed the finish line,” Alison would say later, “I thought, Oh my God. I did it. I really did it. Without a doubt it was one of the best days of my life.”

And yet, while memories of that victorious run remain fresh, they can’t obscure all that’s happened in Alison and Tim’s lives over the past year, events Alison is reminded of each time she looks into a mirror—or hears, as she does now, the anxious tone in her husband’s voice. When Tim finally spies a tiny bobbing blob of pink and black beginning an ascent up the quarter-mile hill, he calls out, a bit more relieved than excited, “It’s Ali! It’s Ali! She’s in first!”

Read the full feature story here.

 

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