Hennessey's back in the running, looking for a less-eventful finish

Robin
Robin Short
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Steve Hennessey's gone back on his word.

After Hennessey collapsed unconscious at the finish of the 2008 Tely 10 on a humid Sunday morning last July, he was asked if he'd ever enter the race again.

"Never," he mumbled just moments after recovering his senses.

Well, Hennessey's back.

Steve Hennessey's gone back on his word.

After Hennessey collapsed unconscious at the finish of the 2008 Tely 10 on a humid Sunday morning last July, he was asked if he'd ever enter the race again.

"Never," he mumbled just moments after recovering his senses.

Well, Hennessey's back.

He's registered for the 82nd running of The Telegram 10-Mile Road Race this Sunday, after achieving somewhat of a cult status for the way his first Tely 10 attempt ended.

As Hennessey headed for the finish line on Bannerman Road, he stumbled off the street, made his way briefly up onto the sidewalk and then back on the asphalt before falling down, catching himself with his hands.

At that point, he was mere yards from the finish. Shooing away St. John Ambulance staff, he crawled forward, then fell flat on his stomach and literally, in a last-ditch effort, rolled over the line before blacking out.

Footage of the finish was posted on The Telegram's web site (http://www.thetelegram.com/index.cfm?main=broadcast&bcid=8153) and has received countless hits.

Hennessey spent about 30 unconscious minutes in the St. John Ambulance tent before being transported to St. Clare's Hospital, where he received fluids and a precautionary EKG.

"I remember very clearly waking up and saying I'm never doing this again," Hennessey said this week.

But he's back, and looking for redemption.

"I remember nothing past the eight-mile mark, just waking up thinking the Coast guy (Coast 101 announcer Andy Newman) was a voice in heaven," he joked. "I didn't get to experience the joy of finishing the race. And nearing the finish line, with hundreds of people cheering on the runners, there's a lot to experience."

Hennessey says he's not quite in the physical condition he was last year, but never mind, he's prepared for this Sunday's 10-mile run.

"I've been training the past two months, and I ran the course last Saturday and did just fine.

"I learned a very important lesson last year and that is to keep yourself hydrated. I know I can complete the race. I knew I could do it last year, too. I just made a terrible judgement call."

As for the video, Hennessey admits he got plenty of ribbing from friends.

"Some people were horrified by it, but most got a great laugh from it," he said.

rshort@thetelegram.com

Organizations: The Telegram 10-Mile Road Race

Geographic location: Bannerman Road, Clare

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