Tara Zink has always loved long distance running so she was devastated when an injury threatened to keep her from competing in the New York City Marathon.
“The doctors in the emergency room told me to stop running, and I said ‘I don’t think so. I have a couple weeks left. I’ve trained for four months, and nothing is stopping me!’ So I ended up at UConn.”
Dr. Thomas Trojian, director of the Injury Prevention and Sports Outreach Programs at the New England Musculoskeletal Institute at the UConn Health Center, found that Tara was suffering from a stress fracture caused by her marathon training.
As a team physician for many of UConn’s athletic teams, including women’s basketball and men’s soccer, Trojian knows the importance of helping athletes reach their goals.
“So we altered her training, we moved her to the pool,” says Trojian. “We had her do pool running, unloading the shins so that she can keep up her aerobic activity and keep up her training and allow the shins to start to heal.”
Trojian has done a lot of research on the prevention of sports injuries and is a nationally known expert on the topic. He knew Tara would not be completely healed by the time of the marathon but well enough to compete and safely accomplish her goal.
Tara placed in the top 20 percent of her age group and finished the course in four hours and 14 minutes.
“I’ve always had a goal to run a marathon,” says Tara. “It was longer and harder than I expected but I got through it and I have Dr. Trojian to thank.”
Trojian is now helping Tara accomplish another milestone – competing in the Chicago Marathon.