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Sarah Reinertsen    

Ironman Paratriathlete & Former Paralympic Track Athlete Who Lost Her Leg Due to A Congenital Defect

Sarah Reinertsen stepped onto the world stage after making sports history in one of the toughest endurance events in the world — the Hawaii Ironman. This legendary race starts with a 2.4-mile swim (3.8km), continues with a 112-mile bike (180km), and culminates with a 26.2-mile run (42.2km), all in a single day. On 10/15/05, Reinertsen completed the Ironman World Championships in Kona in a very respectable time of 15 hours and 5 minutes, becoming the first woman to finish an Ironman on a prosthetic leg. A year later, she raced around the world on “The Amazing Race,” the Emmy-award-winning CBS reality TV series.

Reinertsen’s story has been covered in many national newspapers and she has graced the covers of many magazines, including Runner’s World, ESPN, Triathlete, and Competitor. In 2009, GPP Life published her book, “In A Single Bound,” an honest, touching and funny memoir about how a feisty, one-legged girl struggling to fit in with her two-legged friends grows up to become a world-class athlete and TV personality.

She continues to race in triathlons and road races around the world and is a current member of the USAT National Paratriathlon team. She is a 3-time world champion in ITU short course triathlon, and won the Ironman 70.3 world championships in 2006.

Prior to becoming a triathlete, Reinertsen had a prestigious career as a runner, both on the track and on the road. Reinertsen raced with the US Disabled Track Team for 10 years, including at the 1992 Paralympic Games in Barcelona. Several years later, she made the switch to road racing, competing in dozens of 10k’s and half-marathons, as well as 7 marathons, before becoming a triathlete. Along the way, Reinertsen has broken multiple world records, and won numerous awards, including the 2006 ESPN ESPY for best female athlete with a disability.

Reinertsen spends much of her time giving back and serves as a spokesperson for both Össur, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of prosthetic equipment, and the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), a non-profit that supports athletes with disabilities. Reinertsen mentors and inspires other athletes through a variety of Össur and CAF events, including hands-on sports workshops around the country that teach amputees how to run, spin, bike and swim.

She also works as a motivational speaker, and has moved many audiences at multinational companies like Merck, MetLife, Credit-Suisse, Barclay’s, Accenture, etc. Through her multimedia presentation, Reinertsen shares her story and motivates others to realize their potential by setting goals, facing fears, overcoming setbacks, living with hope, and daring to dream big.

Reinertsen graduated from The George Washington University with a BA in Communication and International Affairs, and received her MA in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Southern California.

Reinertsen lives and trains in Orange County, California.

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