W. MI runner turns her pain into progress

MIDDLEVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — One West Michigan woman’s New Year’s resolution might topple most, running 100 miles this year all while raising money which she plans to donate to the Mary Free Bed Foundation.

Her motivation comes from her past. An accident that may have stopped other runners right in their tracks.

Katie Bean is turning pain into progress, planning on running 100 race miles split between three half-marathons, a marathon and one ultra-marathon.

She says all those miles don’t make the memories of her past any less painful.

“It was painful, and sometimes still is to run, but my desire to achieve is more than the pain,” Bean said. “Looking back at pictures of the crash, I was lucky to have survived I think.”

Bean’s race begins where many others tragically end.

“I was driving to work on a regular Friday in October of 2017,” Bean said. “I was about halfway there, and a woman went off on her shoulder of the road and then swerved, over corrected, into my lane and so it was nearly a head on collision.”

The wreckage left Bean with two broken legs, one broken heel, but a passion that was now stronger than steel.

“I have, I think, nine screws and I’m full of hardware,” Bean said. “I call myself the bionic woman. I have bionic legs.”

She was told by doctors and surgeons that she’s never run again, Bean had other plans.

“My motto is you can do anything,” Bean said. “I really feel I can do whatever I put my mind to, that’s why I’m competing now and hoping to help others too.”

She was tested by strenuous, often painful recovery at Mary Free Bed. With their help, she was able to complete her first ‘post-accident’ marathon only six months after the crash many thought it would end her running career.

“That was and still is one of my greatest physical accomplishments and one of my proudest moments,” Bean said. “

She now plans to raise $2,000 for the Mary Free Bed Foundation to help others achieve their goals through a website.  

“I don’t want anyone to have to worry about financial stressors while they’re also trying to heal,” Bean said. “No one’s dreams should end just because of an accident. Mine didn’t, I hope what I’m doing can help others too.”


Road to Ultra