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Monday, January 04, 2010

Greatest Story of the New Year

It's rare for a woman to win a coed race, but it happens from time to time. But how about a female amputee winning a race against able-bodied men and women?

Below-the-knee amputee Amy Palmiero-Winters won the Run to the Future 24-hour race, held in Glendale, AZ, on December 31 and January 1, with 130.04 miles. She left second place (male, two complete legs) some 14 miles behind.

How good is 130.04 miles? It puts her 5th among all women in the USA for 2009 and 22nd in the world. She has made the USA team for the World 24 Hour Championships. Finding world records for disabled athletes in the 24 hour run is proving difficult, but it's hard to imagine she's too far off. All this in her first attempt at the distance.

From Running USA:
Palmiero-Winters' left leg was crushed in a 1994 motorcycle accident. After 25 surgeries and a below-the-knee amputation in 1997, the former high school track and swimming star began a decade-long rehabilitation which led to triathlons, marathons and eventually ultramarathons. The mother of two set her sights on making the national women's ultra team (the 2009 team earned the silver medal at the World 24-Hour Run Championship), a goal requiring her to achieve a distance greater than 129.6 miles by the end of the qualifying period, which closed on January 1, 2010. The Run to the Future event commenced on December 31, 2009 at 9:00am, and finished exactly 24 hours later. The qualifying standard was the most demanding ever for the women's national 24-hour run squad, as the quality of American women's performances for the all-day / all-night running event was the highest in 2009 than in any previous year.
This is not her first major accomplishment; she holds the women's marathon world record for below-the-leg amputees (3:04) and was USATF's Athlete of the Week this past October after being the first known amputee to complete at 100-miler (where she won the women's division). This, however, takes it up another notch.

Check out her website.

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