The Atlanta Ironman kept to his wheelchair this past week. The ends of his amputated legs were blistered, swollen and raw, and showing signs of infection. His muscles felt like they had been doing laps through a pasta maker. The gifts of completing one of the globe's notorious endurance races just kept giving.
A week ago, on the big island of Hawaii, Scott Rigsby, 39, became the first below-the-knee double amputee to complete an Ironman triathlon. That meant swimming 2.4 miles without legs, then biking 112 miles and running a 26.2-mile marathon with prosthetics. He had 17 hours to complete the task. He made it in 16:42:46 — a little close, but that kind of history didn't require much margin.More...
I photographed Scott last year on the Georgia Rides to the Capital ride, and met him a few days later at a triathlon expo. He is a super nice guy. One of the things that struck me about him was his uncanny sense of balance. He was walking around on two prosthetics as well as most people do with real feet. He told me he played nose guard in high school and succeeded because of his sense of balance.
I have read about other amputees having issues with blisters and sores on their stumps during shorter athletic events. I cannot even imagine what Scott went through during an Ironman. Since the story mentions him being in his wheelchair since the race, it must have been pretty bad. It is hard enough to finish an Ironman on two good legs (I have 5 finishes), I cannot even imagine the hell he went through. The guy is something else!