Posted by: Steve Lackey on Jul 13, 2011
Death Valley, CA - In the early hours of the morning on July 13th, amputee runner Amy Palmiero-Winters became the first female amputee to finish the Badwater Ultramarathon. Often called the "World's Toughest Foot Race," Badwater is a 135-mile nonstop run from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, CA, with temperatures often rising to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. This was Amy's second time running Badwater; a 2010 attempt ended in injury as the bone in her leg broke through the skin inside her prosthesis. Frequently, runners who do not finish the Badwater Ultramarathon are not afforded another chance in favor of new runners wanting to attempt the race. Given a rare second opportunity in 2011, Amy made the most of it, finishing with a time of 41:26:42 despite the temperature of her prosthesis reaching 160 degrees.
Amy is no stranger to adversity. After her left leg was crushed in a motorcycle accident at age 21, she would undergo twenty-seven surgeries over the next three years before doctors decided to amputate the leg below the knee. Having been an enthusiastic runner her entire life, Amy began learning to run on a prosthetic leg. Eventually, she received a custom-made running prosthesis from Hicksville, NY-based A Step Ahead Prosthetics, and soon after began breaking world records in the marathon and triathlon.
In 2009, Amy set her sights on Ultramarathons, races 100 or more miles long. The results were dramatic as she became the first amputee to win an Ultramarathon at Arizona's Run to the Future Race on New Year's Day 2010, and was later named to the US Women's 24 Hour Running Team which competed in the world ultrarunning championships in Brieve, France. She also became the first amputee to ever finish the Western States 100 Mile Trail Run. For these accomplishments, Amy was named the 2010 John L. Sullivan Award winner as the country's outstanding amateur athlete and also took home the 2010 ESPY award for Best Female Athlete with a Disability. Finishing Badwater is the latest achievement in her remarkable career as she continues to live by the personal motto, "The only limits we have are the ones we set for ourselves."
Find Amy on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/seeamyrun
About A Step Ahead Prosthetics and Team A Step Ahead
Team A Step Ahead is a team of amputee athletes from around the world who compete in events including marathons, ultramarathons, triathlons, road races around the world, and the Paralympic Games. Team A Step Ahead's members compete against able-bodied athletes, often placing and winning age group awards. These elite athletes hold or have held world records in the 100m, 200m, 400m, track and field events, marathons, ultra-marathons and triathlons. They receive training from coaches, prosthetists and physical therapists whom are experts in working with amputees. The company's motto is "Live Life Without Limitations." For additional information on A Step Ahead Prosthetics and Team A Step Ahead, visit www.astepaheadonline.com.