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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Running > April 2019 > OUT ON A LIMB

OUT ON A LIMB

TOM WHITE ALMOST LOST HIS FOOT IN A COLLISION WITH A DRUNK DRIVER AND THOUGH DOCTORS MANAGED TO SAVE IT, HE ACTUALLY OPTED TO HAVE HIS LEG AMPUTATED JUST SO HE COULD KEEP ON RUNNING

The best thing that I get from running is hard to describe,” said Tom White. “It’s a feeling of correctness in my body and that feeling’s not always there. But when it is, it just feels smooth and makes me feel stronger and gives me more confidence. It makes me feel good.”

How far would you go to preserve your running life? What would you sacrifice simply to be able to run? Many fearless men have been featured in these pages, runners who, through sheer bloody mindedness, resilience and guts, have triumphed in the face of overwhelming adversity. Yet few, if any, can match White’s incredible story.

In 2007, the 50-year-old doctor from Buena Vista near Colorado paid to have his left leg amputated in the hope that that he could run for the rest of his life. White’s story starts in the summer of 1981. He was a 21-year-old nationally ranked cross country runner training hard to challenge for the title the following year. Then came an accident that was to change his life.

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About Men's Running

I started running in the mid 1980s. Ask anyone around at the time and they’ll tell you it was the heyday of British middle and long distance running. I got swept along by the Coe versus Ovett battle of the Moscow Olympics and the then addition of Cram for LA in 1984. Britons ruled the world and I loved every second of the battles, the highs, the lows, the medals and the media. These guys were my inspiration and I wanted to be them. They were the reason I started running and it was no surprise that my chosen events were 800 and 1500m. That I was best at these was just an added bonus. There are so many influential figures in our brilliant sport. Some are well known, others less so. So we decided to choose our favourites so that you could also get a little sprinkling of inspiration. Whether it’s Dean Karnazes eating pizza by the roadside or Ron Hill running every day for more than 50 years, we know there’ll be something for everyone. Read and get inspired and hit the road for your next run!