Sarah Reinertsen explains how she does the Ironman with a prosthetic leg


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Thirteen years after her historic Ironman finish, Sarah Reinertsen is back and will compete in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. This time, she’s doing it to prove that people with disabilities shouldn’t be on the sidelines.
USA TODAY, Sandy Hooper

MISSION VIEJO, Calif. — The Ironman World Championship is a cruel, uncompromising and unyielding examination of body and mind.

Don’t even ask about any concessions, however young, old, injured, or bone-weary you are. Or, in the case of Sarah Reinertsen, you’re trying to complete the whole darned, miserable thing, all 140 miles of it, as an amputee with a prosthetic leg.

This weekend, Reinertsen will join 2,500 competitors from more than 60 countries as they plunge into Kailua Bay, off the west coast of Hawaii’s Big Island. They’ll splash out en masse for a 2.4-mile lung-busting swim, pedal their way up Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway and beyond for 112 miles, then churn through a 26.2-mile run.

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