Tyler, Texas, Officer Abby Rodseth is preparing to race in the FRESH 15 marathon on Saturday, March 5 — just one year after she suffered from a traumatic brain injury while on duty.
In August 2020, Officer Rodseth was driving in her cruiser during a routine evening patrol when she was catastrophically rear-ended by a reckless driver.
“I was over in the area of Gentry and the Loop, and the car was going somewhere around 75-plus miles per hour,” Rodseth told FOX 51.
The force of the collision ejected a rifle in the rack above her head, causing the firearm to hit her in the back of the head and knock her unconscious.
“I don’t remember anything regarding the accident itself because it knocked me unconscious immediately,” Rodseth adds.
The injury her brain sustained was traumatic, resulting in severe mental and physical debilitations and causing Rodseth to undergo months of speech and physical therapy.
However, Rodseth has remained optimistic from the start.
“She makes my job really fun and easy, mainly because of her positive attitude and the strong work ethic that she brings to every training,” said Taylor Nox, her training coach at the CHRISTUS Health Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute.
Before the accident, Rodseth — a former track athlete and avid runner — placed fifth in the FRESH 15 event.
Despite her injuries, the officer was determined to race again in the upcoming 15K.
“I told them my goal was to be ready to race, like be in race shape and competitive for the FRESH 15,” Rodseth said she told her trainers.
Now, Rodseth will once again participate in the marathon for the first time in over a year. The east Texas officer said she has a new appreciation for being physically fit and active.
“I have this renewed joy of just being able-bodied, being able to run and do something I’m passionate about. The love and joy is that in itself the ultimate prize,” Rodseth said.
The officer added that she was grateful for all the support she received.
According to the FRESH 15 website, 100% of the revenue made from the race goes to local charities and nonprofits.