‘Push yourself beyond your limits’
BCA Member, Jodi Crawford, shares her experience working in multidisciplinary teams at Ultramarathons around the world.
My name is Jodi Crawford, I graduated from the Welsh Institute of Chiropractic (WIOC), University of South Wales (UWS), in 2011 and I currently live and work close to Portsmouth, on the sunny South Coast. Before Chiropractic, I did a BSc (Hons) in Sports Science and have always had a love for sports. In recent years, I have got into Triathlon and endurance sports. I am fascinated by our ability to
push ourselves beyond what we think our limits are, both physically and mentally.
This is part of the reason why I have ended up combining my chiropractic skills with Ultramarathons. Through a chain reaction of events, I found myself working alongside an amazing team of Osteopaths at Ultramarathons run by a company called Ultra X. These running events are 50km, 125km or 250km long and can take up to five days to complete. They take place in some of the most spectacular locations around the world and, so
far, I have been lucky enough to visit the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan, the Azores in Portugal, Udawalwe National Park inSri Lanka and the Slovenian mountains for the Ultra X World Championships. Alongside a team of medical doctors and general support crew, our role as therapists is to take care of the athletes while they push themselves to their physical and mental limits. Collectively, our role is to get as many athletes as possible to overcome the enormous challenges that the races present them with.
I do it because I get to witness the journey of these athletes as they progress through these events, all whilst having a mini adventure in incredible places myself. To know that your skills and time have helped these people to cross the finish line is incredibly rewarding and something very special. The people that you meet at these events are all so diverse and this also makes the races so worthwhile.
From first time ultra-runners to seasoned, professional ultrarunners, to each member of the crew and the local people of the country, you meet inspiring people and make friends for life, all whilst using your manual therapy skills. The race bubble gives you a feeling and life experience that you wish
you could bottle!
Who are they?
OsteoAdventures was formed five years ago by Osteopath Kieran Lowe. He was motivated to give Osteopaths the opportunity to take what therapists love doing into event companies such as Ultra X. He strives to provide the very best treatment to athletes whilst they are completing some of the toughest races and challenges on the planet.
What to expect?
During events, the therapists are there to provide manual therapy skills (which tends to include a lot of taping), cheering, consoling and encouragement to the runners before, during and after each race. Whether that is a one-, two- or five-day race, you may find yourself up before dawn and in bed at midnight; sometimes you may need to wild camp or sleep under the stars. You work as a large team and you work hard, but the elation that you feel when
you see the athletes come over that finish line is a feeling you cannot describe.
To date, I am the only Chiropractor on the team and I have thoroughly enjoyed working alongside and getting to know other therapists; be it Osteopaths, Physiotherapists or sports and massage therapists, it has been a wonderful opportunity to work in multidisciplinary teams and witness the importance of integrated care for providing not only the highest quality service for patients but also an invaluable opportunity for the therapists to learn from each other and to understand better each other’s skill sets and competencies.
How to get involved?
Would you be interested in being part of the OsteoAdventures team and working at events like these? If so, please check out www.osteoadventures.com and
register your interest.
Photographer: Benedict Tufnell