Amputee Runner Shatters More Records at Chicago Marathon

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On a chilly windy day at the Chicago Marathon on Sunday October 22, Amy Palmerio-Winters, of Meadville, PA shattered another marathon record for female amputee runners. Running on two broken toes not completely healed on her non-amputated leg, and spending Thursday and Friday in the hospital due to anaphylactic shock, Ms. Palmerio-Winters finished the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon in a time of 3 hours 4 minutes and 16 seconds placing 34th in her age group and 148th in the entire field of able-bodied female marathoners.

On a chilly windy day at the Chicago Marathon on Sunday October 22, Amy Palmerio-Winters, of Meadville, PA shattered another marathon record for female amputee runners. Running on two broken toes not completely healed on her non amputated leg, and spending Thursday and Friday in the hospital due to anaphylactic shock, Ms. Palmerio-Winters finished the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon in a time of 3 hours 4 minutes and 16 seconds placing 34th in her age group and 148th in the entire field of able-bodied female marathoners.

Palmerio-Winters previous best marathon time with her new running prosthesis was 3:26 at the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon this past May. Prior to that, the best marathon time for a female amputee was 3:52. What is noteworthy is that the time of 3:04 broke her best marathon time of 3:16 at the Boston Marathon which she achieved prior to her limb loss from a motorcycle accident.

Palmerio-Winters, a 34-year-old welder and mother of two, lost her left leg below the knee following a 1994 motorcycle accident. Three years and twenty-five surgeries later, her left leg was amputated below the knee. Following the amputation, it took three years before Palmerio-Winters could even try to run again.

"I was told in 1994 I wouldn't run again," Palmerio-Winters said. "That lit a spark in me; I got a second chance in life with this special prosthesis.”

After receiving her customized running prosthesis in February of this year from Erik Schaffer C.P., President of A Step Ahead Prosthetics & Orthotics in Long Island, NY, Palmerio-Winters was provided extensive professional coaching and training as a member of Team A Step Ahead. This multidisciplinary approach to her training regimen involves a team of prosthetists, physical therapists, Phil Kreuter and Dave Balsley, who have expertise in training elite athletes with disabilities and support from many accomplished amputee athletes who also are Team A Step Ahead members.

Having qualified for the 2007 Boston Marathon where she set her pre-amputation best time, Ms. Palmerio-Winters plans on breaking the 3 hour mark in the Marathon and hopes to achieve the fastest time for all amputees, male and female.

"I eventually plan to also do the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii," said Palmerio-Winters, who lists being the first female amputee to run a 100-mile ultra marathon as another future goal. Palmerio-Winters is also an accomplished triathelte, where she is highly competitive against able-bodied triathletes. She has won the last two Olympic distance triathlon world championships.    

A Step Ahead Prosthetics & Orthotics is located in Hicksville, New York. The facility sponsors Team A Step Ahead, a group of elite amputee athletes from around the world who compete in events including the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon, multiple marathons, road races around the world and the Paralympic Games. Team A Step Ahead's members have been very competitive against able-bodied athletes, placing and wining age group awards. These elite athletes hold or have held world records in the 100m, 200m, 400m, track and field events, marathons and triathlons. Members receive training from coaches, prosthetists and physical therapists that are experts in working with amputee athletes, including world record holding Paralympians. The company’s motto is “Live Life Without Limitations.” For additional information on A Step Ahead Prosthetics and Orthotics and Team A Step Ahead visit http://www.astepaheadonline.com. Photos are available upon request.

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Philip Kreuter
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