Connor Callihan, a high school student in Asheville, N.C., had been feeling pain in his lower leg all weekend, but he thought it was probably nothing. And so the junior went out to compete in the Mountain Athletic Conference championships on Monday, where just before the finish his tibia snapped in three places, dropping him to the turf.
So Callihan crawled the rest of the way.
"This was my last race of the year," Callihan said from the hospital on Tuesday, where he is recovering from surgery. "I just had to finish for my team. I just had to."
His coach, who has experience with these types of things, observed, "His leg was in a way nature didn't intend it to be."
One of the doctors told Callihan's mother that the break's cause was probably due to an untreated stress fracture.