ZAP Coaching Spotlight – Anna

Over the next few weeks we will be sharing some brief stories of our ZAP Coaching athletes. You can find more information on ZAP Coaching here.
Anna McClaugherty has worked with ZAP Coach Matt LoPiccolo since 2017 and he has helped her transition from barely breaking four hours in the marathon to becoming a Boston Qualifier, when she ran 3:27:51 at the 2019 Wineglass Marathon on Coach Matt’s birthday. Anna is also making a successful shift from marathons to the world of ultra marathons where she had hoped to run from Flagstaff, AZ to the Grand Canyon in September 2020.
This past March, Anna moved from Durham, NC to Flagstaff where she had been LOVING training at elevation and the easy access to breathtaking trails. However, in late April, Anna suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) along with several minor injuries (broken wrist and clavicle) when she was hit by a vehicle during a training run.

She was admitted to Flagstaff Medical Center ER and transported to the ICU Pediatric Ward, because the regular ICU was dedicated to COVID-19. She was intubated, placed on a ventilator, and stabilized. After days of uncertainty, Anna’s condition improved but she wasn’t eating and still had profound disorientation. She actually believed she was running a marathon in the days ahead! Coach Matt was asked by her family to help Anna “fuel up” during this critical time of healing. Coaching truly goes beyond the spectrum of miles and minutes.
After 24 days in the hospital, Anna was eventually discharged and is well on her way to a full recovery. As of Friday, June 26th, she completed her first run back, less than 2 months post-accident! She can’t wait to get back to more trails, logging miles, and truly believes that running has tremendous healing powers for us all.

Anna is all smiles during her first run back from a traumatic brain injury.