Saturday, May 10, 2008

Race Report : Long Island Greenbelt Trail 50k

Emmy took this photo of me finishing (6:59:01).

This will be a very short race report. I realized today that there is so much more to running then my own personal goals and achievements. As I struggled mightily with the hills of the Greenbelt Trail (the Garmin GPS reported 5,600 feet of elevation gain), complaining every now and then to Emmy (who I ran with for most of this race and swears that I do not whine as much as Frank does), I had to take a step back in awe at the accomplishments of a runner that I met on the trail. I spent quite a bit of time with an amazing athlete, Amy Palmiero-Winters.

It is best to describe Amy from what is written about her on her website : A high school track and swimming star, Amy, now 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 3 years before Amy could even try to run again. In 2004, despite only having a walking prosthesis and being 5 months pregnant with her second child, Amy entered the Silver Strand Marathon and came in 2nd place in her division. In the summer of 2005, two months after her daughter was born, Amy decided to try her hand at her first triathlon in NYC. She hadn't been swimming competitively since high school, she still only had a walking prosthesis and she had to use a borrowed bike from her employer for the event, but she placed 3rd in her division. Beginning in the Spring of 2006, with a customized running prosthesis from A Step Ahead, Amy was provided extensive professional coaching and training as a member of Team A Step Ahead. In May of 2006 she ran her first marathon with her new prosthesis, and smashed the world record time by more than 25 minutes. Since then she has broken her own world record, along with the US Men's record, in the marathon when she ran a 3:04 in Chicago, set a world record in Olympic Distance Triathlon in NYC, and won her second triathlon world championships in Switzerland. You can learn more about Amy by visiting her web-site.

Today I watched Amy set yet another world record, which I believe is for the longest trail run by an amputee. So as I sit here trying to write a race report about my day . . . . about meeting up with Wayne, Staci, Frank and Emmy . . . . about talking pre-race with the amazing and wonderful Annette Bednosky, and then watching her fly to another victory despite injury . . . . I simply cannot find the words to type, as all that comes to mind is complete and utter admiration for a woman who talks more about inspiring and touching others then she talks about her own amazing accomplishments. Amy - thanks for making today such a great day, and for everything you do to bring out the best in everyone !

Of course, I can't go anywhere without my trusty camera, so, here are some shots from the day :


17 comments:

  1. that Amy is something else. Thank you for the great photos and for sharing her story. She said that she wouldn't take her leg back now, as she is blessed to be able to work with amputee children, and she is healthy. She also said that in a couple weeks she will attempt Ironman Brazil for the amputee record.
    great running with you!! Let's see if Frank uses that photo of him on his blog!

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  2. Congrats Tony! and Yes that Amy person is absolutely amazing and a great inspiration!!!

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  3. Overall, sounds like a fantastic day! Again, GREAT JOB, Tony!

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  4. Another good race, Anthony! I had read about Amy in Runners World last year, what an inspiration :)

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  5. Sounds like she is an amazing athlete -- how fortunate you could spend time with her!

    Congrats on your race!

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  6. Hi Tony,

    Congrats on a great race! And for sharing stories about your fellow runners.

    You are an inspiration to me! You are so humble and you never brag about you 3:40 marathon...something you achieved when pacing Ira...you are an example of a person who soars when helping others.

    I am sure Amy felt just as lucky to run with you!

    Now we have to support BOB as he gets ready for KM!!!

    Speak soon!

    Colleen

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  7. Duudeee that's so AWESOME that you got to spend time with Amy! I remember seeing her in RW as well. How cool!

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  8. great job anthony!

    tough call as to want we should do next - another trip to a brewery, or another ultra :D

    was going to borrow a photo or two - but they're all GREAT! love that slide show!

    but that bit of dirt you're climbing seems like an anthill next to the one you had to deal w/at bear mountain!!

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  9. Oh wow, Anthony, now I'm inspired. I love a race report that brushes your personal accomplishment (that's a great time for that level of elevation!) with those of others. Nicely done.

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  10. Congrats Anthony! Thanks for the inspirational story about Amy too!

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  11. wow, that's awesome that you got to run with her!

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  12. Thanks for writing so eloquently about Amy...she deserves all the accolades and admiration. It was wonderful to meet you in person on Sat after reading your blog. It was a fun and inspiring day...susan

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  13. Congrats on the race! Very cool that you ran with Amy. It's great when you can draw inspiration from someone and put things in a different perspective.

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  14. Thanks to everyone !

    Susan - great to meet you on Saturday. Hope to see you again soon.

    Colleen - how about another marathon for you ! Pick one and I'm all yours.

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  15. Wow - she is awesome. Going to check her site out now.

    As for your comment... are you suggestion a full on boobie flash? ha ha. I kid, I kid!!!

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  16. Nice time! Now just imagine how much better you could have done if you'd been eating a glazed donut and large coffee with milk and sugar.

    True, on a trail race you'd need to use a straw so as not to spill, but I'm sure you could trick out your camelbak.

    Nice job anyway. (I'm sure that Amy gal had a donut ferreted away somewhere. How else can you explain such super-human feats?)

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