Moments before her son races in Tuesday’s Dakota Ridge Invitational, Sandy Winn is “very nervous.” Zacc Winn was in Children’s Hospital Colorado last week because of a liver disease, and he has been out of the hospital only five days. Sandy knows Zacc is going to push himself hard, and he is going to be in a lot of pain.
“Wherever he places today, at least he’s out there running,” Sandy says. “He took one day off after being in the hospital. That was his definition of ‘Take it easy.’ “
The object of cross country racing is to push limits and endure pain. Every runner who runs an honest race is going to hurt. But Brush runner Zacc Winn took that to a level few runners experience 11 days ago, running through stabbing pain while abdominal organs ripped apart.
But Brush runner Zacc Winn took that to a level few runners experience 11 days ago, running through stabbing pain while abdominal organs ripped apart. Yet the lanky sophomore, who will need a liver transplant someday, managed to finish No. 3 for his team that day in the Brush Invitational.
Then he collapsed.
“I was down for, like, five minutes,” Winn recalled last week. “I would have stayed down, but my teammates had to pick me up and carry me off. They put me under the bleachers in the shade. I couldn’t stand up, and my stomach hurt so bad. I was too weak to stand.”
Too weak to stand after the race, but determined not to quit before he crossed that finish line.