Liz Blatchford Injury Shock : Report and photograph from John Coxon
GB ‘s Liz Blatchford was , it turns out , unable to compete in the Corus Elite Series at Tredegar, last weekend, and is now back home in Australia and out of competition for at least 6 to 8 weeks following a nasty injury from what appeared to be an innocent fall from her bike during a crit race in the UK a fortnight ago.
Liz admits she is resigned to this not being her season. She had that disappointing DNF at the Mooloolaba BG Triathlon World Cup back in March after which she underwent minor surgery to correct a labral tear in her hip joint cartilage. Back then she was able to resume swimming and biking remarkably quickly although the return to running took a little longer. Liz’s spirits had been up and she was talking enthusiastically, late April, in her website diary , about her new Trek Madone bike and the advantage it would give her in future events she was training for.
At a point in her season when she was almost fully recovered from the hip injury and just about back to full pace running, she was involved in a bike crash while training at Loughborough in an evening Crit race. Liz, writing in her Blog tells us, “It was nothing out of the ordinary. However, the bunch was really big that night and twitchy. I didn’t like the feel of it from lap1. Someone swerved to avoid someone else , as you do , and went straight into my front wheel, taking it out.” She added, “Before I could blink I was on the ground.” She remembers thinking “I really don’t need this right now” as she went down landing heavily on her back.
Ever plucky Liz admitted that she thought little of the fall afterwards and was confident that she had escaped any serious problems but as the week drew on she experienced increasing discomfort in her lower back and to the point where everything was hurting it. So time, she realised, for yet another MRI scan. With typical humour Liz added “I have become so accustomed to MRI machines that I now use the time in the noisy claustrophobic scan tube as “nap time.”
The results of the scan were not good. Liz had sustained a bilateral fracture of the sacrum, the compound bony triangle that seats the spine into the pelvis. Even though Liz initially had planned to make for the alpine ski resort of Leysin for the next phase of her training, she has been forced to return to Australia with fiancée Glen “doing a good job as nurse.” Essentially” , Liz explained “ the location of the fracture is an awful place for an injury as just about every body movement involves it.” She now requires complete rest , literally 6-8 weeks of doing nothing, not even swimming. Initially Liz expected to be fit to compete again by the end of July but tells us she is going to have to be “ a couch potato until further notice” We all , I am sure, wish her a speedy and complete recovery and early return to competitive racing.