Great Winter Run: crash survivor looks to the future

Mitchell Hiddleston is preparing  for the Great Winter Run following a motorbike accident which nearly killed him. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Mitchell Hiddleston is preparing for the Great Winter Run following a motorbike accident which nearly killed him. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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HE was on the brink of death as he lay at the side of the road in agony after being knocked off his motorbike.

Things were so bad that his wife was even warned that he was unlikely to survive through the weekend.

The consultant told me I might never run again. But I’m ready to prove them wrong.

Mitchell Hiddleston

But four weeks later Mitchell Hiddleston climbed out of his hospital bed and limped home with the aid of crutches.

Now, more than 12 years on, he’s finally ready to return to the sport he loves – running.

The father-of-two, from Livingston, has signed up for next month’s Great Winter Run, and hopes completing the course will allow him to consign the near-fatal accident on the outskirts of Helensburgh to the history books.

Mitchell, who works with the Ministry of Defence Police, was travelling home from work on June 6, 2003, when he was “smacked” by a vehicle after its driver fell asleep at the wheel.

He was tossed into the air before hitting the ground forcefully, resulting in his femur bone breaking through his skin.

Mitchell said: “I can’t remember much after the accident because I was on morphine, but my wife told me afterwards she was told by doctors that I might not make it past the weekend.

“After four weeks in hospital, I remember being released in a stookie and crutches, and the consultant telling me I might never run again. But I’m ready to prove them wrong.”

The 50-year-old was rushed to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley and operated on twice after he lost 18 pints of blood.

Mitchell said: “I was in hospital for just over a month, and then recovered at home for about four and a half months before I could go back to work – on recuperative duties.

“I was told it would take a bit of time for me to be able to even walk again, but I think that is what has made me even more determined to get to where I am today.

“All I remember about the accident was being hit and then lying on the ground, feeling as though someone had kicked my leg really hard. I had no idea it was as serious as it was.”

Mitchell was a keen runner before the accident. He trained regularly to keep up his fitness as a police officer and enjoyed participating in half-marathons and other events.

He said: “I’m proud of myself for how far I have come. The Great Winter Run will be my first big event since the accident so it’s going to be a big day for myself and my family.

“It’s important for people to know that if you stay positive you can achieve anything.”

• Mitchell will be participating in Pure Gym Great Edinburgh Winter Run on January 9 next year. The 5k begins at the foot of Arthur’s Seat. For details, visit www.greatrun.org/ednews.

courtney.cameron@edinburghnews.com