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Watch: Hillary Allen and John Collinson in Edge of Darkness

The ultra runner and big mountain skier have both found healing — and more — riding gravel

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Perhaps moreso than their physical challenges, injuries tests the mental fortitude of all athletes.

Scuderia Pinarello riders Hillary Allen and John Collinson both have stories of injury taking them to the brink of their mental toughness and how bikes helped bring them back.

In 2017, Allen who is a professional ultra runner, fell 150 feet during a Skyrace in Norway. She survived, but with 14 broken bones and severe ligament injuries in her foot and ankles that threatened her professional running career and general mobility.

Collinson, one of the world’s foremost big mountain skiers, sustained two back-to-back ACL injuries in 2018 and 2019. In 2021, he had a massive crash in California, resulting in a blown ACL, PCL, MCL, patellar tendon, and lateral meniscus, plus a few separated ribs.

Both athletes initially sought the bike as a way to move their bodies through recovery. And both found that it brought them so much more.

“Staying positive through injury for me has been important,” Collinson said. “Nobody chooses to have these accidents, but once they happen, it alters your reality, so it was important for me to accept that reality and move forward. A big piece of moving forward is choosing to grow through the injury — with the mindset that they don’t make you less of an athlete or human, and they can make you a better one.”