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White Rock runner featured in ‘Runner’s World’

On a November morning three years ago, following a local running event, a car —whose unlicensed and uninsured driver lost control —plowed down three people at the foot of Flag Pole Hill near White Rock Lake.

All were severely injured; the most severely hurt was White Rock area resident Eric Nelson. Here and in my job at Advocate Media, I’ve written about the accident and his journey, as have all of our local media outlets, but this month, Eric and his fellow victims, Mary Oliver and Jay Newton, are featured in the national magazine, Runner’s World.

Bound by initially horrifying circumstances, the three keep in touch and occasionally run together. They call themselves “Team to Hell and Back”. Collectively, their wounds (physical and emotional) are still healing. Eric told the magazine that it was some time before he overcame his fear of returning to the White Rock Lake and running its trails.

However, the three ran the White Rock Marathon earlier this month. This is the second marathon this fall for Eric, who also ran the October 2011 Chicago Marathon. (He managed to break four hours at The Rock and seems well on his way to becoming as fast as he once was, with a 1:33 half and 3:31 marathon PRs.)

The Runner’s World article also mentions that former state representative, Lakewood resident Allen Vaught after the accident pushed to pass Eric’s Law: Unlicensed or uninsured drivers who cause serious harm to others in an accident may now face a year in jail and hefty fines.

The driver who nearly killed the trio of runners that day received a mere citation.

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