By TOM BONE
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Chris McBride knew something was wrong.
His left shoe dangled on his foot as he started his portion of the four-by-400-meter relay for PikeView High School in last Friday’s Class AA Region 3 track and field championships in Charleston.
The shoe fell off. He kept running.
“It was like sandpaper,” he said about the rubberized track at Laidley Field. “I just tried to finish and not let it affect me.”
With his left foot clad in a black sock, he limped to the transfer point and handed the baton to PikeView’s top runner, Jason Weitzel.
The result was a first-place finish with a time of 9:01, and a spot in this week’s state meet, also in Charleston.
Weitzel said, “I saw his shoe fall off, and I was just thinking how hard it must be for him to finish the last lap without a shoe. He said it hurt pretty bad. I’m glad he was tough enough to finish the last lap.”
PikeView head coach Angie Hill said she didn’t see the accident at the start of McBride’s leg of the race, when teammate Hunter Klein accidentally stepped on the back of McBride’s shoe as they exchanged the baton.
She was there to help him when he finished.
“I felt so horrible for that kid,” she said on Sunday. “If he had not shown that toughness and determination, we would not have qualified in that event. ... Because of Chris’s heart and determination, that entire group of boys gets to go upstate now.”
She reported, “He got a lot of pats on the back and a lot of congratulations for toughing it out.”
McBride said he wound up with “huge blisters” but still was capable of running in his next event, the individual 800-meter race.
“They taped it up and sprayed Lidocaine (on it) and gave me Tylenol,” he said. “I wanted to run, because I was ranked second. I came in fourth by, like, a half a second. I still almost qualified in that, too.”
He said, “At the end, it was hurting real bad.”
That was then. On Monday afternoon at PikeView, he said, “I’m fine. All the pain’s gone, now. It’s still there, but I don’t feel it.”
And what about Friday’s state competition?
“Yeah, I’m running.”
McBride also competed at last spring’s state meet. He admitted being nervous last year. This year, he said, his intention is “just (to) go all out. It’s the last race of the season. There ain’t no reason to slow up.”
— Contact Tom Bone at