No one doubts the competitiveness that flourishes inside runner Colin Fewer will bring him back to the road again.
The Harbour Main native isn't about to let recent hip surgery take him away from his sport.
Fewer had arthroscopic surgery on his left hip three weeks ago and is undergoing a long rehab process.
He'd been running with a hip labral tear for about two and a half years which caused problems in other parts of his body.
"I thought at one point I had a sports hernia," said Fewer, who learned of the true nature of his problem after undergoing an MRI.
"I got really good at managing the pain through a whole lot of cross training,."
The surgery procedure involved taking the hip out of its socket.
"They identify the tear. Then they anchor and suture the tear in the labrum and they set the hip back."
The seven-time Tely 10 Road Race winner admits it's tough to know he'll miss this year's race s after posting a personal best time last year when he finished runner-up to Matt Loiselle from Windsor, Ont., in a time of 49 minutes and 43 seconds.
However, the pain had gotten to the point where couldn't run more than an hour without his groin tightening up.
"I'd hobble home with pain and an hour or two after my run or training session, I had difficulty lifting my leg to put my socks on," he explained.
However, he said, a few days after he did either elliptical or cross-training, the symptoms would subside and he'd be ready to go again.
Fewer will be on crutches for at least two more weeks. He was exercising on a stationary bike for 20 minutes a day a couple of days after surgery.
"I have to be very patient in terms of how I come back because if you try too soon you'll inflame the area and you're back at square-one again."
He said the longest he expects to be rehabilitating is six months, but he's looking at closer to three or four months.
"I hope to get on the elliptical machine by August. The cross training I've done over the past years has kept me in pretty good shape. As long as there's no impact, I'm not risking fracturing the neck of the femur again."
Fewer said with a chuckle that if he does try a race this year, "I've got to have low expectations.
"If things go really well, I think I might take a shot at the Canadian cross-country championships in Vancouver in late November."
He said that while he's concerned he might not get back to the level he was before the surgery, he'd settle for 90 per cent without pain at this point.
Fewer said he has to be "smart" and realistic about his rehabilitation, but competitive running remains a big a part of his life and he's not about to give that up. Not even close.
"I'd like to think I can come back stronger and fitter and maybe run faster than I ever have.
"The drive is still there," said Fewer, who will turn 36 next month.
"I'm going to run as long as I physically can. I like the competition, but I love just getting outdoors and running trails by myself. It's more of a lifestyle rather than thinking I have to win."