Injured motorcyclist completes marathon in Edinburgh

Image caption,
Craig Fearn crossed the finishing line in Edinburgh in four hours, 47 minutes

A motorcyclist who was told he could be permanently disabled after fracturing his neck in a road collision has completed his first marathon.

Craig Fearn, 28, from Caerphilly, competed in the Edinburgh Marathon less than three years after he was injured.

He spent five days in intensive care and was off work for seven months after the collision in October 2007.

But he took up running as a hobby and finished Sunday's marathon in four hours and 47 minutes.

Three peaks

"I set myself a time I wanted to achieve but didn't quite because of the heat," said Mr Fearn, who works at the GE aircraft plant in Nantgarw, Rhondda Cynon Taf.

"It was very hard as it was so hot and the dehydration soon set in."

He is now training to run three Welsh peaks - Snowdon and then Cadair Idris in Snowdonia, followed by Penyfan in the Brecon Beacons - for the children's hospice Ty Hafan at Sully, Vale of Glamorgan.

"Hopefully I'll recover by then," he joked.

Following the collision, he was left with with a fractured neck and a shattered left shoulder blade.

"I was quite critical - it was touch and go," he said.

"I was told I could be permanently disabled and I had to have a halo fitted to my head, which was screwed on. It was very uncomfortable.

"One night the halo slipped and I had to go back to hospital and they changed it to a brace.

"Luckily I retained a lot of movement in my limbs. Before the accident I was always playing rugby but the doctors told me to calm down on the contact sports because one knock could put me in a bad situation.

"So I got into running and biking instead."

Therapy course

Mr Fearn, who last year entered the Cardiff 10K and the Cardiff Half Marathon, has been inspired to take a sports massage therapy course at Pontypridd College.

"When I first came out of intensive care and had everything described to me, it was quite a shock to go from an able person to people saying there were limits to what I could do," he said.

"I was determined it wasn't going to stop me and that I would carry on.

"When I was told I couldn't play contact sports, I started to look at other ways to stay involved in team sports.

"The course is hard work but it's very interesting."

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