As always, Tinman haters gonna hate on LRC!
I'm surprised it took so long for anything about Drew Hunter's injury to be posted here.
a) If you look at his post-race interview on Runnerspace (right after the race), you'll see that he briefly mentions not being able to kick at the end due to his foot - and that he is not making excuses (he was buoyant about making the Worlds team). The interviewer doesn't grill him further about the injury - a lost opportunity, really.
b) The post-race LRC chatter clearly noted Drew's obvious lack of a finishing kick. Knowing that closing has been one of his strengths, it should have been telltale that this lack of a finishing kick might have indicated that he was held back by an injury. (Of course, as he clearly states in the Runnerspace interview, he knew that 5th place would still put him on the Worlds team, so really there was no need to sprint on an achy foot.)
c) If you look at the first Tinman video (Part 1 of 2) about the Nationals, you'll see that Drew mentions his achy foot, as he painfully soaks it in ice. That's pre-Nats.
d) Then, maybe two weeks later, the Part 2 video went on-line. In Part 2, he talks about the injury (injuries, I guess) in the week before Nats, as he soaks his feet in a stream. (No snakes were harmed in the making of that video...I presume.)
I was at Des Moines, and after the race Drew was trying not to grimace and hobble as he made his way around the track to accept lots of congratulatory cheers and hugs. (He is really, really popular.) After all, he was thrilled to reach his goal of making the Doha team, and that would have helped to offset any pain, I think. Besides, runners have pain all the time. I bet even then, he was still hopeful that whatever was wrong would not ever stop him from competing in Doha. He even says in the Runnerspace interview that his goal is to make the finals. This is right after the 5k final, when he knew he was on the Worlds team. Confidence, despite adversity. The Part 2 video shows his Tinman teammates helping a very-much-hurting guy sometime after the race, maybe the next day.
I can see the validity of the pigheadedness argument here: that it is madness and foolish to continue to train on a serious injury, and then to compete with it. That's a legitimate opinion - that to continue to train, then race, with such an injury is potentially a huge negative for the future.
However, guys like Drew Hunter are as good as they are, in part, because they aren't wussies. They don't cry "uncle" very easily. They fight pain all the time and run through injuries that curtail running activities for wimps like me. Such determination and eye-on-the-prize focus sometimes backfires badly, and sometimes it leads to outrageous, lofty success. Well, I don't think too many of us can say that making the Worlds 5k team isn't one story of a lofty success. I mean, he's not yet 22.
I just hope reaching that point won't come at too high a price.
Drew, if you read this, I wish you well, and I can hardly wait to watch you represent the US in Doha!