In October 2014, Runkel fractured her T5/6 vertebrae in a mountain-biking accident causing paralysis from the waist down. She was attempting a 15-foot drop on her downhill bike when the accident occurred. Runkel landed slightly forward on her bike and hit a rut in the dirt causing her to be thrown over the handlebars.
Since her injury, Runkel has worked tirelessly on her recovery at Journey Forward. Through a September 2015 board-approved grant for an adaptive mountain bike, Lindsey is even back to participating in her favorite sport again…actually more than just participating, she is a leading force in the adaptive biking community.
Most recently she inspired a big air dirt jump jam day! Her “Highland Family”, people from all over the east coast congregated in support of Lindsey to, “Get Air Again, Against All Odds”! The even took place in Colchester, Connecticut at, Trail Builder, Tim Cameron’s property. The jump was ultimately called the Skull Mountain Jump!
“High Fives is an amazing community that I am truly proud to be a part of,” said Runkel. “I’m not sure where I’d be without their continued support, but I know I wouldn’t be shredding bike trails with my friends again without their help!
The High Fives Foundation supports injured mountain action sports athletes through grant funding to be used towards reaching their recovery goals. Since the Foundation’s January 2009 inception, the Empowerment program service has assisted 194 athletes from 31 states in nine respective funding categories which include: living expenses, insurance, travel, health, healing network, adaptive equipment, winter equipment, programs and “stoke” (positive energy, outlook and attitude).