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Being close with my young family, adventuring outside, and practicing/studying medicine.
Long-term goals include being able to do everything that I did before in terms of events, such as running a 10K road race or 100 mil trail race. Professionally I seek to be the best physician assistant I can be.
WHAT TRUE SUCCESS MEANS
Being true to who I am, first of all. Success also means living and working a sustainable lifestyle and being active and healthy.
A few words from Dave:
“Nothing in my life has prevented me from achieving my goals. Losing my leg is a hiccup in the life path, but I do not see this as a hindrance to achieving any goals.”
During what was expected to be a routine trail run in the mountains that frame the western edge of Boulder, Colo., Mackey fell off a rock and tumbled more than 20 feet, badly breaking his left leg in the process. After seven surgeries during a three-week hospital stay, Mackey returned home with his injured leg intact, albeit with an external bracing system and crutches to help him get around. Although he recovered enough to walk with a significant limp over the next year, he still had mobility issues, internal infections and constant pain.
Several more surgeries—including his most recent procedure about three months ago—helped him walk without a cane. But continued complications with the repaired leg put him in the tough place of opting for more surgeries or permanently amputating his lower left leg. He talked through the scenarios with numerous doctors, as well as family and friends, and decided to have the amputation early November.
Mackey, a Hoka-sponsored runner who works as a physician assistant, has won U.S. trail running championships for 50K, 50 miles and 100K distance and won the Montrail Cup trail running series in 2004 and 2011. He’s a two-time U.S. ultrarunner of the year with a long list of trail running and adventure racing victories, plus a handful of records and fastest known times to his credit. In 2007, he became the first trail runner to run under 7 hours for the famous rim-to-rim-to-rim trail run across the Grand Canyon and back when he ran the 42-mile route in 6:59:56 in 2011.