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Runners far and wide support Lehi athlete injured in accident

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Megan Wallgren | Touriddu

Runners worldwide are logging miles to support a Lehi runner recovering from serious injuries sustained in a four-wheeling accident. “Run for Seth” is a movement to show love and support for Lehi resident Seth Kjar. Since July 11, over 10,636 miles have been run on Seth’s behalf in most of the 50 states and over a dozen countries. This Saturday, people are being asked to “run, walk, hike, bike or swim a virtual 5K to support his recovery. 

Kjar was in a four-wheeling accident on July 5. He lay injured for three hours before his father found him. Seth was life-flighted to Utah Valley Hospital. He had a broken femur, broken foot, and facial fractures. He also had a collapsed lung and two large wounds. After he was taken to the hospital, he developed a severe complication, fat embolisms in his brain, and fell into a coma.

Kjar is slowly coming out of his coma and has been moved from the ICU to a facility where he can work through rehabilitation. Many months of recovery lay ahead, but doctors are optimistic he can fully recover.

His mom, Becky Kjar, said it’s a miracle Seth survived the accident and is progressing. She credits some of that to the determination he learned as a runner. “All the endurance he gained from running has made him tough. With really goodrehab and his determination, we believe he can come back to us fully,” she said.

After the accident, many of Kjar’s friends and neighbors wanted some way to help. A family friend, Andrea Marks, suggested having people run to show their support. Kjar is an athlete who ran on the 2021 Skyridge state championship team. People are invited to log miles run on Seth’s behalf on the Run for Seth Google form. The response has been overwhelming.

“Four-hundred miles were logged in the first two hours,” Marks said. Since then, responses have come in steadily every day from all over the world. Many high school runners have recorded miles for Seth from schools around Utah County.

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Marks says it makes people feel like they can show their support to Kjar and his family. “I wanted to think of something people could do to show support, and Seth loves running,” said Marks. “It’s ongoing, and people can think about him every day instead of just a one-time thing. It helps them to feel loved and supported every single day.”

Kade Hansen, a friend of Kjar’s, said running for Seth is motivating. “It makes you feel like you can do something,” he said. “You’re supporting Seth, maybe not right by his side, but in another way. It’s more fulfilling as I’m running and thinking about him. It’s satisfying knowing that I’m doing that for a friend.”

Becky Kjar is touched by the Run for Seth movement and how it has spread across the globe. “It’s amazing how many people are running for him and want to do something for him,” she said.

Kjar was planning to leave on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on July 24. It’s sad for his family to see him miss that milestone date, but the flood of support they’ve received gives them comfort. Becky Kjar said, “He’s been a missionary already. So many people are praying for him. I’ve had people tell me they don’t usually pray but have been praying for Seth.”

She thinks he’ll love looking at the Run for Seth log when he reaches that point in his recovery. It will give him strength knowing so many people are supporting him. She’s grateful for the continued prayers and running on Seth’s behalf. “Life is fragile, it can change so quickly, but we’re making it,” she said.

Run for Seth can be found on Instagram, where the running log is linked in the bio.

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