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Dr. Joel Dekanich completes Leadville Trail 100 Race

9/25/2012 (Archived)

Joel Dekanich, D.C. (Davenport ’94), took part in the Leadville Trail 100, a 100-mile race through the “extreme Colorado Rockies terrain.” The course begins and ends just outside Leadville, Colo., and takes the participants from elevations of 9,200 to 12,600 feet.

Dr. Joel DekanichDr. Dekanich is a sports chiropractor who works with ultra endurance athletes on a regular basis, but he had not taken part in so grueling a race before. Of the 800 racers, only 364 finished in less than 30 hours—Dr. Dekanich was one of them.

“It became clear early on in my training that ultra running is considerably different than your typical marathon,” said Dr. Dekanich. “I had some learning to do, but with some trial and error, I was able to complete some 30 and 50 mile races successfully before attempting the famed LT 100.”

Dr. Dekanich needed to use some of his sports physician training to triage various injuries during the race, including self-administering Kinesiotape to the inner arch of his foot, switching shoes and orthotics (which helped reduce some excessive over-pronation of his foot at mile 60). He also drew from the knowledge of colleagues in the sports medicine field, along with patients and friends who have run races of this caliber before. 

“Just to finish a race of this magnitude was an amazing accomplishment,” said Dr. Dekanich. “But to now have an inside perspective of mentally what it takes and to experience first-hand the effects on the body, that is something you don’t learn from a classroom.”