Chris Ottinger’s first Cowtown marathon last year might be better told through a horror story called It.
You’ve heard of the title, you say? Well, not this version.
Ottinger made it past the Cowtown’s renowned killer Mile 9 over the Paddock Viaduct, which connects downtown to the North Side with the courthouse as a backdrop, and into Mile 10 when he surrendered.
His problem: IT band syndrome. That is, inflammation of the IT band, the ligament that runs down the outside of the thigh from the hip to the shin. It’s a common injury to runners, due mostly to overuse.
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It had plagued him throughout his training leading up to the big day.
“I’m at a much better place this time,” said Ottinger, a Cowtown ambassador who lives in Frisco. “I got a great chiropractor, who has 25 Ironmans himself. He fixed my IT band.”
Ottinger will again try the Cowtown’s 26.2-mile foot race on Feb. 25. The half-marathon and ultra-marathon are also held that day. The Cowtown’s 5k and 10k are scheduled for Feb. 24.
Ottinger’s journey to running’s “big one,” started three years ago. Like so many others, the now 48-year-old received an all-too-typical diagnosis from a doctor: You’re not in great shape and your cholesterol levels are as high as Snoop Dog.
“In the neighborhood, I saw a flyer for Camp Gladiator,” Ottinger said of America’s group fitness fad. “My trainer got me into running.
“I fell in love with it.”
After some study, he also switched to a plant-based diet.
The combination amazed the medical professionals, who told him they had never seen such a drop in cholesterol numbers in such a short time, three months.
He joked that he might wear a T-shirt for the marathon inscribed with “Powered by kale.”
Ottinger, a husband and father of a 10-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son, also hosts a training group on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings.
“That’s what I love about running, the community … the Cowtown specifically. The people there, the setup, and crowd. As painful as it was last year, the people encouraged me.
“I was disappointed in myself, and I said I would do better next year.”