Runner Left with Huge Mat in Her Hair After Toronto Marathon. Days Later, 20% Is Still Tangled Mess (Exclusive)

Abbie Jack ran the Toronto Marathon on May 5

<p>Abbie Jack</p> Abbie Jack has hair disaster after running marathon.

Abbie Jack

Abbie Jack has hair disaster after running marathon.

Abbie Jack is no stranger to long-distance races.

During the Toronto Marathon on May 5 — her second full marathon — she adhered to her usual routine: tying her hair up in a standard ponytail. However, as the Toronto, Ontario, local hit the pavement, the rain began to pour.

The rainfall persisted intermittently throughout the entire 42 kilometers. It wasn't until the 30-kilometer mark that Jack noticed the rain had wreaked havoc on her hair.

"My hair started feeling VERY heavy. Like I had a carpet attached to my head," Jack, 27, tells PEOPLE exclusively.

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<p>Abbie Jack</p> Abbie Jack captures photo of hair after running a marathon.

Abbie Jack

Abbie Jack captures photo of hair after running a marathon.

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With a goal of finishing the marathon in under three hours and 30 minutes to qualify for the Boston marathon, Jack didn’t want to stop or slow down to adjust her hair. It wasn't until after completing the race that she realized just how bad her hair was.

Looking at her hair for the first time post-race, she recalls thinking, "Oh, this will be hard to take out, but I didn’t anticipate that it would be that hard."

"I have super fine hair so it gets knotty easily," she adds. "I’ve run in the rain before and had my hair get super knotty before, but looking back that was nothing compared to this! i usually can get it out with a lot of conditioner."

Back home, Jack removed her hair elastic as usual, only to find her hair completely standing up. Despite showering and using conditioner, her hair remained tangled.

"I broke my brush and shortly realized this was a bigger issue than anticipated," she says. "I then got out of the shower and added a thick leave-in conditioner."

After spending hours with her fiancé trying to untangle her hair, Jack turned to social media for help. Her TikTok video documenting the ordeal went viral overnight, garnering over 3.6 million views. Suggestions poured in from viewers, but nothing seemed to work.

"I also tried mayo, as recommended on TikTok, olive oil and other deep hair treatments," she says. "Nothing worked. I broke several combs."

"I’ve spent at least 12 hours working on my hair now and my arms are so tired," she continues.

After Jack posted a follow-up video, a hairdresser offered to help. Jack spent three hours with her and by 10 p.m., her hair was about 80% detangled. However, she's lost quite a bit of hair in the process.

Despite the hair ordeal, Jack, whose wedding date is set for June, remains positive. She's thankful for the support and plans to head to the salon again for further treatment.

"Don’t be discouraged to run just because it does crazy things to your hair! Running is amazing! Maybe wear a bun if you have hair texture like me!" she advises. "Running has changed my life."

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