Finish line in sight for Leadville 100 runner thanks to new therapeutic tool

Posted at 5:12 PM, Jul 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-18 20:37:06-04

DENVER -- Any athlete knows it's not about how many times you fall, but your will to get back up. Paul Hoover found that out last August.

"You truly can't move your legs. They feel like glass, and you just can't go another step," Hoover said.

It was mile 42 of the Leadville 100 to be exact, when the 52-year-old ultra runner saw his bucket-list goal slipping away.

"I DNF'd or did not finish," Hoover said. "I vowed to myself I would do it completely different this year."

That's where the team of therapists at UCHealth Steadman Hawkins Clinic-Denver came into play. Determined to cross the finish line, Hoover began rehab for tendonitis and tight hip flexors, where for the first time, new cutting edge technology is allowing therapists to more effectively treat not just professional athletes, but everyday athletes like him.

"It gives us more information. It helps drive our decision making clinically," said Mike Allen, Director of UCHealth's Rehabilitation Services- South Metro Denver.

"DARI" as it's called, uses eight cameras to show therapists exactly how a patient's body is moving and which muscles and joints are working incorrectly.

"It kicks out a report that identifies strengths, imbalances and weaknesses that we use to help drive decision making," Allen said.

For Hoover, it's allowed him to keep going after his dream. Come August 19, it's not about earning gold, it's about proving to himself he's made of lead.

"I just want to finish," Hoover said.