The ultrarunning community took a hard hit over the weekend when popular coach and advocate Kerry Suter broke his neck in a mountain bike accident in his home country of New Zealand.
Kerry co-operates Squadrun, a coaching company that helps runners get access to races and training, with his life partner Ali Pottinger. On Saturday, February 26, Kerry took a bad fall off his mountain bike, breaking and dislocating his neck. Emergency responders transported the athlete to Middlemore Hospital in Auckland by helicopter, where he currently is receiving treatment.
According to his fundraiser, “Kerry now has some serious recovering to do.” Later, it adds that “[W]e are helpless toward any physical repair for Kerry, but psychologically we are powerful people.” Seen in a video posted by Ali, Kerry is currently awake and speaking, though his future prognosis and extent of spinal cord injury were not shared.
Kerry Suter, Ali Pottinger, and Squadrun
Kerry and Ali started Squadrun shortly after meeting at New Zealand’s T42 race in 2015. In their business, they leverage their unique, yin-and-yang personalities to offer programs rooted in wellness and performance.
“If you need support, talk to Ali. If you need a kick up the butt, talk to Kerry,” said Ngaire O’Leary, an ultrarunner and audio-visual consultant based in Sydney, Australia who has worked with Squadrun since its 2015 inauguration, told iRunFar for a 2019 profile about the couple. Together, “they [support] the idea that everything is possible, if you are prepared to do the work.”
O’Leary also added that the two “contribute hugely to our trail and ultra community by making races accessible to as many runners as possible.”
The organization got down to business right away — within its first four years, it had worked with almost 3,000 runners. Clients have come from Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The group has also supported military placements in Afghanistan and Korea. Business especially swells during New Zealand’s Tarawera Ultramarathon.
Early fundraising numbers for Kerry’s rehabilitation reflect not only the running world’s passion for his and Ali’s initiative, but how loved he is in the trail running community. As of Monday afternoon U.S. time, the GoFundMe and Give A Little pages have raised over $74,000.
Kerry has been a friend of iRunFar throughout the years, helping in our coverage of Tarawera and Ultra-Trail Australia, housing us on visits, and showing us the beauty of his beloved New Zealand. Our thoughts are with Kerry, Ali, and all of their loved ones right now.
The couple showed their gratitude in an emotional Facebook video post. Anyone familiar with Kerry will find his characteristic sense of humor encouragingly intact.
Call for Comments
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