Female Amputee Completes Ironman Triathlon

Sarah Reinertsen was born with a condition that caused her left leg to stop growing. At 7, it was cut off.

But that didn't stop her. She is a more accomplished athlete than most people who walk normally on two legs.

As a teenager, she took up running. Since then, Reinertsen has run seven marathons and has set records for sprints and long-distance races. The only race that eluded her was the treacherous Ironman triathlon.

The race, which occurs in Hawaii, requires each competitor to swim 2.4 miles through turbulent waters, then bike 112 miles, and end with a 26-mile marathon run.

Reinertsen swims without her prosthetic leg, and has special legs made specifically for biking and running.

Stalled by 40 mph winds, last year she finished the race just 15 minutes past the cut-off time.

"I'm not used to failing." Reinertsen said. "I worked so hard and [have] come so far, to not do it … still upsets me because it wasn't supposed to happen this way."

This year, she returned to Hawaii to achieve her goal -- and she certainly was a crowd favorite.

"People were just screaming for me," she said. "And then that last finish-line chute was-- I mean, the roar was deafening."

The 5-foot, 97-pound Reinertsen finished the race in 15 hours and was the first female amputee to ever complete the Ironman.

"That was the highlight of my trip," she said. "The highlight of my life."