A woman ran 18 miles of the London Marathon with a BROKEN ankle – wrapping her leg in bandages to cross the finish line.
Siobhan O’Keeffe, 25, broke her ankle eight miles and ran 18 miles – for more than four hours – with her fibula bone snapped in half.
Recruitment consultant, Siobhan, incredibly managed to complete the London Marathon despite snapping her ankle less than a third of the way through the race.
She fought back the tears and battled on through excruciating pain to finish the race in just over six hours.
But that was after the plucky runner had to stop after eight miles to get her ankle bandaged up by first aiders.
“It started hurting after about four miles but it just got worse and worse”, said Siobhan, from Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey.
“I had to stop after eight miles. It felt bruised and really heavy, I thought it was sprained. I didn’t think it’d be possible to run on a broken ankle.
“The pain was unbearable but all I wanted to do was finish. I had tears in my eyes. The adrenaline just kicked in.”
Siobhan was forced to stop after eight miles when she came across St John’s Ambulance medics.
She says the lower part of her leg was swollen and red, and was advised to stop running by first aiders.
But determined Siobhan, who was running in aid of the Children With Cancer charity, says dropping out of the race was never an option.
She has raised £6,000 for the charity with her work colleague, Sarah Hopkins, 32, and with her ankle now wrapped in bandages, picked herself up and started running again.
Siobhan, who initially wanted to complete the marathon in around five hours, said: “The St. John’s Ambulance people said ‘maybe you should stop now’.
“But I needed to get to the end. All of my family were there and I was running for charity. I didn’t want to let anyone down.
“The pain was really bad. I had to walk a bit but did carry on running. I ended up running with the a pacer.
“I was in a group of people and that really helped me along. I knew I wasn’t going to get the time I wanted so I just ended up wanting to finish at all.
“I was gutted. I think I’d be able to hit my target.”
Siobhan had spent four months training her body to run the marathon on Sunday (April 28).
She had nailed her race preparation and was buzzing with excitement on the start line of one of the world’s most famous races.
But Siobhan’s once-in-a-life-time marathon experience has been overshadowed, she says.
“Running was just agony. I can’t explain how much it hurt.
“I joked with another runner that if felt as though I was running on a broken ankle.
“I feel like I have unfinished business with the marathon. I did say never again when I finished but I’ll never say never.”
Siobhan says the pain never went away and was only temporarily numbed by the roar of the crowds as she ran down The Mall towards the finish line.
But even after picking up her finisher’s medal – Siobhan says she didn’t go to A&E until the next morning.
Siobhan went home to celebrate with her family and even went to sleep with her ankle still broken – before waking up at 2am in “agony”.
She went along to A&E at West Middlesex Hospital in the early hours of Monday morning (April 29).
She was taken for an X-ray which revealed her fibula bone has snapped near her ankle joint – leaving doctors baffled at how she managed to complete the race.
Siobhan said: “The orthopedic surgeon said he had no idea how I ran with it. He said it was a trauma break. He couldn’t believe it.
“Everyone at hospital said I’m amazing for what I did. No one can believe it.”
Siobhan’s ankle is now encased in a cast and will find out on Friday if she needs an operation.
If not, she will need to wear the cast for up to six weeks but her recovery may go on for longer if surgery is required.