• VSON

Dr Elton's Marathon-Running Patient Just Keeps Going

(We received this fun, inspiring patient story from Frank Sprow, a patient of Dr. Elton's. Frank has run over 200 Marathons and continues to participate in them after undergoing surgery with Dr. Elton.)


Words and pictures by Frank Sprow!


Becoming a Pacer


As my marathon career comes to an end, I decided it would be a good challenge to try to become a pacer. You need to have run at least five NYC marathons (7 here) with good times, have either been a NYC pacer before or have recommendations from previous or current pacers and run a >=15K registered race within three months of the marathon in a solid time (Erie CO half marathon in August - time 1:46).


You must be from the New York City area and a NYRR (running club) member. Their records, somewhat incomplete, suggest I was the oldest pacer ever. A dubious distinction. 


Still Running After Two Surgeries

"Vail-Summit Orthopedics in Vail did the work and Dr. Elton and his team are terrific." -Frank Sprow

This followed a very tough period, since in June 2018 I developed a really painful foot while in Colorado. An MRI and tests at Vail showed it to be a staph infected metatarsal joint - unknown cause - and significant resulting bone loss.


Two surgeries were required, a six week continuous IV PICC line drip of strong antibiotic with weekly blood tests - before an operation to fuse the joint and a long recovery; in a splint, crutches, walker, tall boot, and carbon fiber stiff innersole shoe.  


X-Ray Shared Courtesy of Frank Sprow


Starting with walking 1/4 mile in January after a surgeon checkup, I built up to my normal five days of running 6 - 8 miles each, then a rest day, then 10 -12 miles - or every third week 20 - 22 miles  -  in June, by that time at altitude.