Marathon runner recovering after head-first fall near finish - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Marathon runner recovering after head-first fall near finish line

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Thousands of runners are nursing tired feet after running the St. Jude Country Music Marathon last weekend, but one man is hoping he'll be able to walk again after taking a fall just 1 mile from the finish line of the half marathon.

Joe Duncan, 76, remains hospitalized Monday and is hoping and praying he'll run again one day.

Duncan has been running marathons and half marathons for 30 years, and he was at mile 12 Saturday when something went wrong.

As he tried to sit down, he instead fell head first near Rosa Parks Boulevard.

"I just fell down and hit an iron railing fence. Luckily, a nurse was behind me," Duncan said.

That nurse called an ambulance and Duncan was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where movement is slowly returning to his legs, hands and arms.

Duncan said he's never gotten sick enough to pass out during his three decades of running marathons and half marathons, and the reason for his fall Saturday is not known.

He said it could've been the downpour of rain and cool temperatures that made him dizzy enough to fall head first.

Duncan has the support of family and friends, including fellow runners with the Nashville Striders.

Now, this strider said he is not letting a bump on the head get the best of him and vows to finish soon.

"I'm already in another marathon, yes ma'am," Duncan said. "If I get enough prayers, I can do it."

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