Woman Overcomes Serious Injuries to Compete in Triathlon

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By Sam Smith

CARBONDALE - Competing in a triathlon at 61 years old is impressive enough, but what about a 61-year-old who survived a debilitating accident less than two years ago?

This was Jackie Corder's 11th triathlon, but it's the first one she's competed in since her accident.

"I was on my bicycle riding on Grassy Road and out training for triathlons, and evidently a car hit me [and] knocked me some distance from the road. I had severe head injuries, seven broken ribs, three broken pelvic bones, broken collar bone, several broken bones, and spent a good long time in a wheelchair," desribes Corder.

Corder admits she isn't as fast as she once was, but that hasn't discouraged her.

"When I finally left St. Louis U, the hospital, they asked me what my goal was, and I said I hope I can do another triathlon sometime," says Corder.

That time came 16 months later on a Saturday morning, when she was reunited with friends and former competitors; people that helped her recover.

"I'm just really pleased that people had a lot of confidence in me and I had a lot of confidence in myself as far as really wanting to do as well as I could," says Corder.

Corder finished first in her age group. She plans to compete in an outdoor triathlon at the end of April.
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