April 08, 2016 Posted By: Mizuno USA

By: Amy Begley

We all have setbacks when it comes to running – injuries, burnout or life can sometimes get in the way. No matter what the issue, running is always there for you. It just may be a harder road back for some.

Chanel Hicks first started running after she moved to Atlanta and witnessed the AJC Peachtree Road Race for the first time. She joined Atlanta Track Club’s In-Training for Peachtree program and was hooked. Chanel quickly went from being a training participant to a volunteer run lead for other In-Training programs. “I wanted to be that person who cared enough to show up and sweat through every mile to the finish with you,” she remembers.

A few years later, Chanel was on her way to a 10-mile race when she was involved in a horrible car accident. She woke up in a hospital bed with a fractured C2 vertebra, collapsed lungs and no memory of what happened. Chanel’s first question was whether she’d be able to run the Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon in a few weeks. She quickly knew by the look on her doctor’s face that she would not.

Chanel could barely walk following her accident, but she did not let that deter her hopes of running again. A few months later, she started run/walk intervals. The next fall, she volunteered as a run lead once again, helping participants prepare for the Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon. She also crossed the finish line that day.

Chanel Hicks 1

Recovering from the accident taught Chanel lessons about strength and patience. She continues to chase her own goals while helping others in Atlanta Track Club’s In-Training programs. She even meets participants for extra runs in an effort to make sure they’re prepared before they hit the start line.

Returning to running after a setback can be frustrating and even humbling. But putting in the hard work will only make the payoff even sweeter. Just ask Chanel.

Chanel Hicks 2




Amy Begley is the head coach of Atlanta Track Club, the second largest running organization in the United States. She competed in the 2008 Olympic Games in the 10,000M and placed sixth in the 2009 IAAF World Championships in the same distance with a personal best 31:13, making her the eighth-fastest American woman in history. Her 5,000M personal best is 14:56. Begley finished her professional career with six national titles.



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