Athlete on road to recovery

Triathlete Nick Hannah
Triathlete Nick Hannah

BRIGHOUSE Triathlete Nick Hannah is on the road to recovery after being struck down with a serious knee injury.

The 36-year-old from Woodhouse had landed a lucrative sponsorship deal when he was diagnosed with ITB Friction Syndrome, a debilitating condition common to runners, last August.

“Due to the pain I couldn’t train for the intensity or duration required to maintain and improve my running times,” said Nick. “I had to stop competing in all running events and triathlons. It was devastating.”

However he is now stepping up his rehabilitation and recently completed his first 10k race since last August after having surgery at Spire Leeds Hospital.

Prior to his injury, Nick, a married father of two and an IT manager for HSBC bank in Sheffield, had competed in around nine competitions. He was treated at the hospital last September by consultant orthopaedic knee surgeon, Stuart Calder.

“This was a serious injury for a competitive triathlete,” said Mr Calder. “The surgery is relatively uncommon as most cases settle with non-surgical treatment.”

In Nick’s case, non-surgical treatment had failed to resolve the symptoms. His treatment prior to surgery included intensive physiotherapy and steroid injection.

Mr Calder explained the procedure he performed: “The surgery involved a release of the ITB, by making a small skin incision over the outer side of the knee (over the ITB) with multiple little incisions into the tight part of the band to lengthen it without cutting it (‘pie crusting’).”

Nick, a member of Wakefield Triathlon Club, fits his training around work and family life. His training programme sees him train six hours a week – a mix of running, cycling and swimming.

He aims to build up his training to qualify for the opportunity to represent Great Britain at Triathlons. He will race in a Triathlon in April, the GB in May and has entered Tough Mudder in November, a 13 mile assault course. His sponsorship continues - he has just entered his second year as part of the Tri UK sponsored Race Team.

After taking part in the Wakefield Triathlon Club 10k race, Nick said: “I was nervous beforehand as I knew it would be a significant challenge. I completed in 47 minutes and it felt fantastic to be pain free.”

Mr Calder said he was pleased with his progress.