Athlete Highlight: Deniz Karakoyunlu

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Athlete Highlight: Deniz Karakoyunlu

Deniz has been a client here at The Micheli Center since March 2016 after being recommended for a running gait analysis by his physicians in Sports Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. He is a Boston Athletic Association (BAA) runner originally from Izmir, Turkey now living in Somerville. Prior to working on his gait retraining with Sara Collins, Deniz was dealing with a few injuries including hamstring and medial knee pain resulting from poor technique, specifically over-stepping, which is said to cause too much strain on the hamstrings.

A competitive athlete by nature, at the beginning of his gait retraining process Deniz was very frustrated and found the process to be quite challenging. There were many aspects that he had to pay attention to in order to properly retrain his running form. However, his determination far surpassed his frustrations and, with Sara’s support and patience, Deniz was able to focus his concentration on keeping his newly-learned form together until it eventually became natural to him. Not only did Deniz find himself at a point where his proper form and love for running realigned, but he was also able to do challenging exercises that had previously caused him a lot of pain and discomfort.

Deniz’s most significant goal since training at TMC has been being able to run pain free. Personally, his greatest moment in running has been finishing his first Boston Marathon in under 3 hours. Deniz ran the Boston Marathon again this past Monday and beat his personal record by 1 minute and 26 seconds finishing at 2:49:43 and 570th of nearly 30,000 runners despite the hot and sunny conditions.

Along with running, Deniz now enjoys and has gotten better at other activities that engage his core, gluteus muscles, and require balance, including skiing and stand-up paddling. Deniz, shown in the photographs above wearing his TMC running hat in the Boston Marathon, has been a very enthusiastic client training at least once a week since he started. “I have learned a lot about running dynamics, and I now have a much better understanding of how all systems and muscles work together and affect each other.”

Deniz would like to give a special shout-out to his family and friends who snapped some of the above photos along the course on Monday: Sarah, Gigi, and Derrick.

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