- Associated Press - Saturday, July 5, 2014

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (AP) - Steve Seide, a triathlete from North Andover and a member of the local TriFury club, considers himself a lucky guy.

“I’ve had a lot go right and I’m just really thankful for everyone who has been so supportive,” said Seide. “I have no regrets about anything.”

Others would say that Seide is not so lucky, at least not last year.

A year ago in June, while on a bicycle training ride in North Andover near the Boxford line, Seide was hit by a car.

Among other injuries, Seide suffered broken ribs, a broken clavicle, a serious neck injury, some deep hand wounds and, most serious of all, a small blood clot in his head that affected his memory. He lost his sense of taste and smell permanently.

It was so bad that Seide didn’t recognize his wife and daughter for days.

“I have no knowledge of anything that happened,” said the 60-year-old Seide. “I remember leaving (on the ride) with the group and then I find I’m in the hospital with brain trauma.”

Seide didn’t start recognizing people for about a week. Once he came home from the hospital, he could do little more than walk slowly. Among other things, he had limitations with his neck, back and legs.

For an active guy who grew up as a hockey player in Minnesota and has run the Boston Marathon 13 straight years, inactivity is far from desirable. He wasn’t allowed to start running until November. “It was a slow process,” said Seide. “I had to take a few steps at a time to start with.”

But triathletes are the determined type. By very gradually increasing his distance, Seide was able to train for and run in his 13th straight Boston Marathon in April, finishing in an excellent 3:12.

Getting back to triathlon competition wasn’t as “easy.”

Seide started riding a stationary bike in his basement, slowly, but surely, but it was tough to get in the proper racing position and he wasn’t able to ride outside on a traditional bike until late April.

Swimming was even tougher because the movement of the head back and forth was too painful and not really possible.

But again, triathletes are generally not to be denied and Seide eventually was able to get some swimming in, enough so that he competed June 14 in the Patriot Half Ironman (1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run) near New Bedford.

And, while he’ll tell you that he’s far from all the way back, Seide had a remarkable performance, winning his age group and finishing 193rd overall among more than 1,100 finishers with a time of 5:36.28.

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