Running with Congenital Talipes

Hi – Just a short post from me to give some parent and talipesists a bit of comfort.

My name is Mike and am 46 years old. I was born with congenital talipes of the right foot. When I was younger I won’t pretend that it didn’t play on my mind. People would notice the difference in my calf size etc., but it never defined me and when I hit my late teens I had almost forgotten about it.

As is usual, I have very limited range of movement in my right foot and it has been painful at times. I was told that I would never be an endurance athlete, but would be able to participate in sport to a reasonable degree..

..but here comes the ‘comfort’ bit; I am married have three wonderful children (10, 15 and 17) and I run 35 to 55 miles a week. My 2 daughter’s escaped talipes, but my 17 year old son didn’t. He is a county badminton player and has already managed to achieve a level 1 coaching status with Badminton England – his coach of 4 years (4 hours+ of matches / coaching a week) took 2 years to notice my son’s calf muscle difference, and remember he would have always been wearing shorts! His talipes, like mine, was described as severe, but we are bloody minded pair and will hopefully give some parents an expectation of what is possible.

And if you what to compare yourself to a 46 year old talipes runner’s PBs..

10k 44mins 20secs
Half Marathon 1h37m50s
Marathon 3h25m23s

5 thoughts on “Running with Congenital Talipes”

  1. All inspirational stories. Is there any advice on running shoes. I struggle to find ones that suit my foot.

  2. Kate Groundwater

    Thank you so much for posting this!!!
    I am 28 and was born with both feet effected. Ive had multiple surgeries on both, and have just sighed up to run a half marathon, with New York marathon being the end goal. So far ive only managed 12k, but its great to read your story and know it can be done 🙂

    1. Hi Kate. Just reading a few stories which I do every now and then and yours struck a chord due to your running aspirations. I was born with 2 severely club feet and underwent surgery and years of plaster . Ultimately this left with one leg and inch shorter that the other. Despite this distance running become my love although I was forced to give it up eventually. However over a 25 year period I raced at all distances from 800 meters to the marathon. I completed 9 marathons in total, lost track of the number of half marathons and would have competed in thousands of track, cross country and road races. My running helped take me all of the world and meet many people I would otherwise not have including including some great distance runners.I was only an average club runner but managed most of my marathons around the 3 hour mark, placed in the top 8% of finishers in the London marathon and made up for my disability by simply training harder than most people. For years I ran over 100 miles per week in training. Not bad for someone whose surgeon said I was wasting my time running and would never run normal. Go after your running dreams, you will achieve them.
      In addition I am married to a darling lady, have 3 lovely children and a gorgeous grandson. At some times in my life I never thought I would have such a life. I have also traveled to many parts of the world. All the best with everything and don’t hold back on anything you want to try.

  3. Hi both with severe talipes in both feet. Now 52 and a (not very good) triathlete. The swimming and the run are both hard work, but the cycling is no problem. Before triathlon it was rugby, eventually the ankles just wouldn’t take any more, before that squash. Being bloody minded definately helps 🙂

  4. hi .. impressed with your story. so happy for u. my son have bilateral club foot. unfortunately we did not know abt the ponseti method .. we got the complicated surgery done. it repeated again now and we got his right foot corrected just 2 months ago. u say physical activity like sports and cycling will help so I encourage him to play well, hope he will be able to lead a normal life ..

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