Monday, August 31, 2009

Help for Erik Skaggs

If you run marathons and ultras and don't know who Erik Skaggs is, you should. While his brother Kyle is best know for absolutely obliterating the course record of the 100 mile Hardrock race (a race so difficult it makes me cringe to even think about it - and I don't cringe. Seriously, it has 33,000' total elevation gain, 11,186' average elevation, low point 7,680' at Ouray, high point 14,048' at Handies Peak.) Erik is no slouch himself in ultrarunning.

Erik most recently bested the course record at the Where's Waldo 100k by nearly an hour! Unfortunately, about a day or so after the race, Erik began experiencing pain, was admitted to the hospital and appears to have suffered renal failure (kidneys). While currently in good spirits, (reports have him timing splits on laps around the hospital wing) he may be in for a battle ahead.

Taken from the Rogue Valley Runners website:

"Many friends throughout the ultrarunning community have already asked how they can help. One of Erik’s biggest concerns is the mounting medical bill. Erik does not have health insurance. He may be eligible for some assistance through his membership with USA Track and Field, but will no doubt require monies for the deductible and for the expected costs well above the coverage.

An Ashland runner and friend of Erik’s has opened a bank account at Umpqua Bank in Ashland, Oregon to receive donations that will be used to help defray these medical expenses. You can contribute by sending a check to Umpqua Bank, 250 N. Pioneer Street, Ashland, OR 97520 made out to the “Erik Skaggs Medical Fund.” Any assistance that you could provide would be much appreciated by Erik. Please note that the Fund name should be on the outside of the envelope."

In addition, cards can be sent to Rogue Valley Runners c/o Erik Skaggs, 161 E. Main St. Ashland, OR 97520.

Keep Erik in your thoughts and well-wishes as updates are posted HERE. Also, while I no doubt am sure that if Erik had thought he was in danger of hurting himself, he would have slowed down, remember that we all must listen to your bodies. There is a difference between discomfort and pain. Pain is an indicator. If you have it, listen to it.

Run safely, friends.


crockey said...

Running didn't attribute to this, did it?

Dane said...

My guess would be, yes it did as he obviously pushed himself passed a point where he should have. However, I do not think that it was something he pushed "through" knowing it would cause him so much pain. He was apparently in good spirits and smiling at the finish.

Bob said...

Sorry to hear about Erik. He'd be a great spokesperson for the current health reform discussion happening in Congress. Many folks are uninsured - some by choice, and some not. I don't know his situation, but with medical debt the #1 cause of bankruptcy in this country, it's clear that a lot of folks aren't adequately protected from unexpected medical emergencies. Now, instead of leaning on reliable health insurance, it sounds like he'll be reliant on the good will of strangers. We need a better system for folks like Erik and all of the un- or under-insured!

Jim Hutchins said...

What Bob said.

Also, to answer Crockey's question, I would suspect rhabdomyolysis.

This is always a danger for marathon runners, even more so for those running ultras. As Dane says, listen to your body and be on the lookout for signs of rhabdomyolysis.