Mary Cullen (North Sligo AC) has suffered an injury which has unfortunately ruled her out of the European Cross-Country Championships in Portugal next month.
Her injury has come as a result of falling off her bicycle in Dublin which she was using as part of her strength training programme in the build up to her participation in the Inter-Counties Cross-Country Championships later this month in Derry and the Euro-Cross later in mid-December.
As a result of the fall Mary suffered a broken collar bone and will have an operation today to start the process of getting the bone to knit together again.
“The x-ray has shown that there are three small fractures of the collar bone and it will take a few weeks for these to knit up, which is all just very disappointing for me as I was so looking forward to the Europeans and keen to do well after the disappointing run I had in it last year” said the Sligo runner this week.
The accident happened over the week-end when Mary was cycling on a road in Dublin near where she has been based for the past several weeks.
“I was not familiar with the road and moved into the verge and came upon a stretch of gravel and the front wheel just lost grip and I came down on the side of a rather high kerb and that was it. I went to hospital immediately and had the x-ray and got the bad news very quickly.”
“I’m just so disappointed because my training had been going so well and I had planned on running a race in Spain on Sunday. I can still salvage something because I would hope to get back running again in a few weeks and that will give me a chance to be ready for the Irish Championships in February and after that the World Championships.”
Cullen has had her share of injuries over the last three years which forced her to miss the 2008 Olympics, the 2009 World Championships and the Europeans Championships during the summer.
“This will only make me more determined than ever to get back and have a shot at one of the major events” said Cullen who was one of Ireland’s prime medal hopes in Portugal.