Provided by Chicago Marathon

- 30 Inspiring Stories in 30 Days -

A lifelong runner, Amy Palmiero-Winters’ life changed after a 1994 motorcycle accident resulted in the loss of her leg below the knee. Amy’s running spirit never failed and she looks to follow-up her 2006 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon performance that set a new female amputee world record with a potential qualifying time for the U.S. Olympic Trials.

WHO: Amy Palmiero-Winters
AGE: 35
HOMETOWN: Meadville, Pennsylvania
MARATHONS: Cleveland, Boston, The LaSalle Bank Chicago, Lake Placid

RUNNER STORY: Amy Palmiero-Winters has the ability to make great athletes appear mediocre. In high school she was an
outstanding competitor in swimming and track. She was faced with a major obstacle in 1994 when she was injured in a brutal motorcycle accident. Along with the scrapes and bruises, her left foot was fatally damaged in the ordeal. After three years and 25 surgeries, her physicians concluded that her leg below the knee would need to be amputated. She would struggle to get her life back in order, learning to walk with a prosthetic leg.

Three years passed as Amy learned how to maneuver with her
prosthetic leg. It was designed for walking as she was never expected to be able to run well enough to need anything more. A lifelong athlete, Amy was not about to let this road block prevent her from running. In 2005 with her walking prosthetic, a five- month pregnancy, and the odds against her, Amy entered the Silver Strand Marathon in California. She surprisingly finished second in her division. With this enormous accomplishment under her belt, she was motivated to increase the level of physical
difficulty and enter a triathlon in New York City. This time she took third place in her division with her walking prosthetic and a bike on loan from her boss.

Her ability to compete in exceptionally challenging races
drove her to the next level. If she wanted to improve her success she needed to find better tools. She researched her options and decided that Erik Schaffer offered the best opportunity as president of A Step Ahead Prosthetics & Orthotics in Long Island, N.Y. A Step Ahead is known for working with athletes to develop training and equipment to accompany their wishes to compete in sports. She worked with their physical therapists and prosthetists to prepare for her next race. Securing a prosthetic designed for running was the first step in the right

In 2006, Amy entered The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon
with two barely healed, broken toes and a two-day old discharge from the hospital where she had been admitted for anaphylactic shock. She finished in 3:04:16; setting a new world record for a female below-the-knee amputee. Her new personal record shaved 12 minutes off her previous time - certainly a remarkable accomplishment for any athlete, but it becomes an outstanding conquest considering her previous time was set at the Boston Marathon prior to the amputation!

Amy can also add her ability to competitively race against
able-bodied opponents to her resume. She has placed 1st overall in two 5K and one 10K races. Her phenomenal performances earned her a nomination for the 2007 ESPY Awards for best female athlete with a disability. This October, Amy will return to The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon with an even loftier goal. She is striving not only to post a new personal best by lowering her finish time below three hours, but to qualify for the U.S.
Olympic Trials, a feat many able-bodied athletes only dream of achieving. WEBSITE:

RACE INFORMATION: The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon will celebrate
its 30th anniversary on Sunday, October 7, 2007 as 45,000 participants advance to the start line, embarking on the culmination of 45,000 personal journeys. Along with the massive field of recreational runners, the 26.2-mile course will welcome a full field of world renowned professional athletes drawn to the flat, fast, urban setting and the potential to break world and national records. The professionals will compete for prize money and points in the World Marathon Majors series which will crown its first male and female champions with $500,000
each at the close of 2007. Since the inception of its charity program in 2002, The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon has generated more than $27.5 million for a variety of charitable causes including $9.5 million in the 2006 event alone. Registration for the race opened on January 1, 2007 and closed when it reached capacity on April 18.

Linda’s story and all previously released runner stories are available at