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John Kelly suffers fractured wrist in ladder fall

Stuart Dick
Updated on
Endure 24
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Ultrarunner John Kelly has suffered a fractured wrist, bruised ribs and a shattered ego after falling from a ladder, but admits it could have been ‘much worse’.

The 38-year-old American, who is one of just 15 finishers of the Barkley Marathon and holds numerous Fastest Known Times (FKT) on famous routes across the UK, posted on his Instagram about the incident on Sunday.


Careless mistake

“Idiot,” he wrote. “That’s all I can think when I watch this. The idiot is me.

“Knowledge and experience lead to confidence. Too much confidence can lead to complacency and carelessness, which is often worse than not having any knowledge and experience at all.

“Here’s a guy with an engineering PhD, who has been on ladders hundreds of times, who was in a rush and didn’t bother to properly adjust the length moving between different height floodlights, setting it up at an angle that any high school physics student (or just anyone with a bit of common sense) could tell you is going to end poorly.

“Fractured wrist (non dominant hand), bruised ribs, and shattered ego. Could’ve been much worse.”

John Kelly

Earlier in the day, Kelly had been spending his time flying down snowy, technical trails – fully aware of the dangers such terrain poses.

“I know how dangerous the mountains can be and what can happen to even the most experienced people if they’re not careful,” he continued. “How? Those unfortunate stories have been shared, allowing us to collectively learn from individual mistakes.

“I’ve applied those lessons many times over to get myself out of or avoid bad situations. So as embarrassing as this video is to me, and as much as I hesitated to post it, here it is.”

“We all do stupid stuff. But don’t be the guy you see here. Don’t be a careless idiot.”

Stuart Dick
Written by
Stuart Dick
Stuart is a graduate of the University of Sunderland with a masters' degree in Sports Journalism. He spends a lot of his time running and cycling around West Yorkshire, England.


In episode 1 of our new SBRX Show we sit down with ultra runners and coaches Kim and Jayson Cavill to get their take on the Barkley Marathons and triathlon & trail running gear reviews, training tips and more

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