David Glass, of Spencer, is an athlete. He played football at Franklin College, is an avid weightlifter and cyclist, and runs.
Glass is not your typical runner, however. Rather than running a few miles or doing the occasional 5K, he takes on marathons and ultra marathons (races longer than 26.2 miles). He especially enjoys trail races and recently completed his first 100-mile race. He enjoys the sport and the challenge of pushing his body to these extremes.
In late 2006, however, during a 50K race (31 miles), an accident took Glass out of the running. It was December 30, 2006, and he and a few friends were competing in the Huntington (Ind.) Ultra Frigid Fifty. The course took participants on three 10.5 mile loops along the banks of the Wabash River.
“The race started and I was running with two buddies,” Glass remembers. “We were about two miles into the race and somewhere between 20th and 30th place and still running in single file.”
At this point, Glass turned to look at a hill to his right because he had heard some rustling in the area. He saw three deer and turned his head back to look at the path in front of him.
“The deer got spooked and took off. One of the deer tried to jump over me, but missed and hit me square on,” he says. “I went down, the deer went down, and the race was still going on.”
The deer scrambled to its feet and ran off into the woods. Glass, who was understandably stunned, was able to get to his feet and walk a few feet in order to pull himself together. At this point, he could feel some bones in his shoulder grinding and noticed a pronounced lump. While there was no open fracture, he wasn’t sure if his collarbone was broken.
Glass walked the two miles back to the beginning of the race and was taken by ambulance to a small, local hospital.
“The physicians there recommended I go to Bloomington Hospital based on my injury and the follow up care that I would need,” says Glass.
He headed back toward home with X-rays in hand showing the severe damage to his collarbone. Glass found Orthopedic Surgeon Aaron Mast, M.D., who reviewed the X-rays and scheduled him for surgery at Bloomington Hospital the following day.
“With orthopedic trauma, it’s important to correct the damage as fully as possible in order to restore function for the patient,” explains Dr. Mast. “With the extent of David’s injury, surgery was necessary to correct the trauma and ensure he could have full use of his shoulder.”
During surgery, Dr. Mast repaired Glass’s collarbone with a titanium plate and screws to correct the damage done during the accident. Glass began to recovery quickly, but could not raise his arms, which is to be expected following this type of injury and surgery.
“Following surgery, not being able to raise my arms hurt my worklife,” says Glass, a painting contractor. “Two days after surgery though I was walking on the treadmill and eased back into my training routine.”
Today, his shoulder is as strong as ever. He’s able to lift as much weight as he did prior to the accident and is back to working at his painting business about six days a week.
“I’m an active person and I don’t want to slow down. Dr. Mast really worked with me to create a plan that would fit my life and let me do what I want to do,” Glass says.
Glass continues running and still enjoys trail races. In recent months, he’s completed five more trail ultra marathons, a 100-mile trail run in less than 24 hours, and the Pikes Peak Marathon. As for competing again in the Frigid Fifty, Glass says, “I’m still deciding.”