Man crawls for more than 10 hours after breaking leg during run

A runner crawled on his knees in the freezing wilderness for more than 10 hours before being rescued after breaking his leg while trail running.

Joseph Oldendorf broke his left leg after slipping on ice while bounding across the remote Duckabush Trail in the US state of Washington on Friday about 5.45pm (local time), news site Kiro 7 reported.

He crawled for seven hours before his mobile phone had enough service for him to call for help, then it was another six-and-a-half hours before he was rescued by a helicopter and airlifted to hospital.

Joseph Oldendorf's knees were blackened and bloodied by the time he was rescued. Source: KIRO7 via Michael Spears

Mr Oldendorf told the publication that in an effort to give his “raw” knees some protection, he took his shoes off and used them as “traction”.

“I had to crawl on all fours and my knees — it’s a rocky, snowy, dirty, wet trail — and after a while my knees were just raw,” he said.

“So I had the idea to put my shoes over them so I would at least have some traction and a little bit of protection, but they’re still really messed up.”

He said at one point he thought to stop and lay down while he waited for help to arrive, but he ended up deciding to keep moving to try and keep his body temperature up.

Mr Oldendorf was airlifted to safety after breaking his leg while trail running. Source: KIRO7 via Michael Spears

“I stopped to lay down and stay warm thinking they might be there relatively soon, but I was way too cold and there was no way I could do it without moving, so I just decided to keep moving towards them,” he told Kiro 7.

Images of his wounds shared to social media showed his two blackened knew caps surrounded by bloodied circles of piercing red.

His left leg was also nearly double the size of his right one, but Mr Oldendorf appeared otherwise in good spirits.

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