ACT News


Canberra public servant to tackle half-marathon after surviving car accident

John Hulin was a carefree 20 year-old before he survived a horrific car accident in 2010.

He broke both his legs and spent 27 weeks - including his 21st birthday - on crutches, followed by years of rehabilitation.

And now, nearly eight years later, he's ready to tackle the 21km half-marathon as part of the Australian Running Festival in Canberra in April.

"I had years of rehab, pretty much being told you're never going to run again, and now I'm pushing for the half-marathon in Canberra," he said.

"I moved up here a few years ago for work, and have slowly been getting back into the running side of things, but it was four months ago, when I saw information about the event, that I thought why don't I give that a go? So I am."

The accident happened on a Saturday afternoon while driving alone on a country road in southwest Victoria.


"[The other] car hit gravel on the left-hand side on their side, over-corrected and ran into my car, at 100km an hour, so it was about a 200km-an-hour-combined head-on accident," he said.

"Everyone survived the accident, which is fantastic, but obviously I had a few pretty bad injuries, and spent a considerable amount of time in hospital during the period after. I snapped my femur, my knee and my ankle on the right-hand side, and also snapped my ankle on the left hand side, so you could say I've broken both legs."

Not surprisingly, his first serious training, including runs around Lake Burley Griffin and around the National Arboretum Canberra, has been tough going.

"After every run, I'm pretty sore and all that sort of stuff, but my housemate has been pushing me," he said.

"I'd been doing a fair bit of mountain bike riding and all that sort of stuff, but never really challenging myself running since the accident - I've sort of been a bit fearful of hurting myself again, but he's pushed me pretty hard, and now I'm doing about 35kms a week."

He's often left with swollen feet and aching joints, but he says it will be worth it if he can finish the run on April 15.

"I'm training pretty smart - little 5km runs most nights, I'm not going to kill myself," he says.

"The marathon will be amazing, my biggest achievement since the accident.

"I would love to go the full marathon down the track, but this year I don't want to push myself over the edge. It's a bit of a challenge and I want to take it on and achieve something, and what better place to do it than in Canberra, in the capital?"

The Australian Running Festival is presented by Tata Consultancy Services