Trampled and Bloodied – Stanford Runner Takes Third Place

Alicia Follmar was running the distance medley at the Penn Relays.
She was a lap into the race when she was accidentally tripped and trampled by 6 or 7 other runners.

But Alicia didn’t quit.
She got up quickly and regained her stride. And, as blood flowed down her face, she moved from 10th to 3rd place before she handed off the baton.

This race was back in 2012.
(I found this article after retweeting this photo earlier today.)


The Stanford Alumni reported:

Blood can paint an indelible portrait, as Alicia Follmar learned last spring. The Stanford runner was just over a lap into the first leg of the distance medley at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia when she was tripped accidentally from behind. She fell hard, and six or seven runners appeared to go straight over her.

What happened next was captured in unforgettable photos: Follmar got up quickly and regained her stride, while long streams of blood flowed down her face and neck. She had been spiked in the forehead, showed nasty abrasions up and down her right side and generally looked liked someone running in the Freddy Krueger Invitational.

As she powered her way from 10th to third over the remaining two laps, she ran into Internet-lauded fame. There’s far more to the two-event All-American than that one race, but no pictures of her are anywhere near as memorable.

“I wouldn’t say it was as bad as it looks . . . . I can’t say it really hurt, there was so much adrenaline,” says Follmar, now a senior. “There was a feeling that I had in my head—like a sensation in my head—so I felt my head with my hand and looked at it, and there was blood on it. At that point, I was already running. I kind of panicked, but I still kept running.” Stanford finished third.

All the best clichés—dedication, determination, tenacity—can be justified by that performance alone. But Follmar, a human biology major who is applying to dental schools, is intent on overachieving throughout her last year of running at Stanford. She was the women’s champion in the opening cross-country meet, the August 30 USF Invitational, serving immediate public notice that she has “big goals” for every event in which she competes. She hasn’t made a checklist of objectives that span the cross-country, indoor and outdoor seasons because, basically, she wants to do it all…

…Follmar, 5-foot-10 with a big back kick, has run since she was very young, sometimes with her mother, who has logged six miles a day for 35 years. Alicia was a state champ in the 1,600 meters as a high schooler; at Stanford, she won All-America status in the indoor mile and distance medley relay as a junior.

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