‘Never thought of stopping:’ College runner finishes race despite rupturing Achilles

Posted at 12:32 AM, May 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-20 00:32:57-04

An Idaho State athlete gave a new meaning to toughness and determination after finishing a track and field competition after tearing her Achilles during the race.

Idaho State senior, Shelby Erdahl, was competing in the 400-meter hurdle finals during the Big Sky Outdoor Conference Championships last weekend.

Erdahl said the race was a big moment for her, because she had the chance to score points for her team in an individual event, for the first time.

“It was a longtime goal of mine to score for my team in the 400 hurdles,” she told CBS Sports. “And since I had made the finals all I needed to do was finish.”

Her race would start well on the first hurdle, but when she jumped to clear the second hurdle, something popped.

Erdahl crashed to the ground in serious pain.

“After I fell, I got up and tried to run again but my foot wouldn’t work, and I knew I had most likely blown out my Achilles,” she said.

Despite barely being able to move, Erdahl stood up and began limping down the track over hurdle after hurdle towards the finish line.

The crowd cheered her on as she crossed the finish line and broke down into tears.

She finished with a time of two minutes, 53 seconds.

“I never really thought of stopping,” she said. “To me that would have let myself, my team, and my coaches down.”

She also finally scored a point for her team.

After the race doctors confirmed Erdahl had suffered a ruptured left Achilles tendon. She had successful surgery on Wednesday.