Amy Dodson completing the New York City Triathlon
It will be a homecoming like no other when Amy Dodson returns to Cookeville for the Cummins Falls Marathon. She has been so far.
The Arizona athlete has journeyed not only across Earth’s geography but also through the world of endurance. It was here in Cookeville that she started running.
In 2000 Tammie Wright, a teacher and colleague at Cane Creek Elementary, was organizing a race called the Pilot 5K. Amy recalls their conversation. She’d remarked wistfully,
“I wish I could run that…”
“Why don’t you?” replied Tammie.
Amy’s reluctance was understandable. She’d lost her lower left leg to cancer in 1984 while a junior at the University of Arizona. It took her left lung too. Now some 16 years later, here in Cookeville, following the gentle urging of her friend, Amy took the plunge that would change her life. She ran that 5K. Ran it in a prosthetic meant for walking, but not for running.
She soon owned a prosthetic designed for running. She began a life of active training. The maker of her prosthetic, Freedom-Innovations, became her sponsor.
Amy Dodson was featured on the cover of Runner's World, July 2011
Bright titles and records fell. She increased her runs to marathon distance, 26.2 miles. In 2001 she became the first woman leg-amputee to finish the prestigious Boston Marathon.
She set the marathon World Record for leg amputee in St. George Utah, a time of 3:53:21.
There’s too much to note. She owns a roomful of titles and records in her division of “Physically Challenged.” Even a short summary stretches long:
International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Champion, Queenstown, NZ, 2003
ITU World Champion, Hamburg, GER, 2007
ITU Silver at Worlds, Vancouver, BC, 2008
ITU Silver at Worlds, Gold Coast, AUS, 2009
Four-Time USA Half-Marathon Champion
Two-Time National Triathlon Champion, New York City
First Place, Ironman World Championship, Kona, HI, 2012
Amy teaches fifth grade at Ventana Vista Elementary, Tucson, AZ.
In May she heads to Brazil for her sixth Ironman race. This week she returns to Cookeville, the place she moved to in 1993, the place where it all began. It is her first visit since moving away in 2001.
Amy Dodson holds her prosthetic leg aloff atop the Golden Gate Bridge during a 667-mile relay race from San Francisco to San Diego
On Saturday, February 25, she will run the Cummins Falls Half Marathon. It and the Marathon start at 8:00 a.m. The 5K, and 10K start at 9:00 a.m. Registration and packet pickup are at 2-7 in Townplace Suites and also at the park on Saturday morning up until 30 minutes before the race.