Watch: When Kerry Suter Went Down, His Community Stepped Up

It’s as hard to overstate celebrated ultrarunner and coach Kerry Suter’s resilience as it is his sense of humor. Don’t believe it? Watch this clip.

By on June 1, 2022 | Comments

Watch Kerry Suter be himself — seemingly the only way he knows how to be — for 20 seconds, and you can instantly tell why everyone who meets him seems to love him.

Sure, the Kiwi ultrarunner won two Tarawera Ultramarathons, but his brilliant reputation as a co-founder and coach for Squadrun vaulted him toward legend status. According to him, it also delivered him a more profound sense of personal satisfaction.

Kerry Suter with Ali Pottinger at Tarawera Ultramarathon

Kerry Suter (left) and partner Ali Pottinger. Photo: Photos4sale

It all changed, though, on February 26, 2022, when the athlete crashed his mountain bike and broke his neck.

At best, Suter’s initial prognosis at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand, registered as noncommittal. “Kerry now has some serious recovering to do,” a fundraiser organized for his recovery said. Later, it added, “[W]e are helpless toward any physical repair for Kerry, but psychologically we are powerful people.”

Kerry Goes Down, Gets Back Up: Watch It All

Now, you can watch Suter’s whole story, thanks to New Zealand public broadcaster TVNZ’s news division, 1News.

[Editor’s Note: This video contains primary-source footage of a graphic injury and may be triggering to some viewers.]

The feature follows him from meeting his partner, Ali Pottinger, to finding fulfillment through coaching, all the way through his life-altering injury.

“I wanted to go and try a trail that was next-level for me,” Suter explains in the video.

On a trail called Jekyll and Hyde, he misjudged a six-foot drop. The footage may feel intensely familiar if you’ve ever gone over the handlebars.

“I landed hard on the front wheel, went over the handlebars, and landed square on my head,” Suter states. “I could feel nothing, and I knew I was in trouble.”

Watch him, his friends, and his partner relive the accident and envision the way forward. Also, grab the tissues: there’s little sentimentality that tugs as hard as local TV news sentimentality. And when it feels sincere, sometimes there’s little else you can do but go along for the ride.

Do yourself a favor, and don’t take it from me. Instead, lean in and watch it. Spoiler alert: when it’s over, you’ll be cheering hard for Suter, Pottinger … and their growing family.

Ali Pottinger and Kerry Suter 2022

Ali Pottinger and Kerry Suter after Suter’s accident. Photo courtesy of Ali Pottinger and Kerry Suter.

Sam Anderson
Sam Anderson writes any articles he can talk his way into, amid a life of traveling the United States and Mexico in search of adventure and margaritas. Follow him on Instagram.