Amy Palmiero-Winters had no idea she would become a Guinness World Records holder following a 1994 motorbike accident that resulted in an above-the-knee amputation of her left leg. She had always been an avid runner and qualified for the Boston Marathon a few months before.
Throughout her life, jogging was the activity she relied on to escape life’s difficulties, to push through whatever challenges or emotional loads she carried, but it had become the one thing she struggled to do.
Amy not only runs marathons, but she also breaks records with them despite undergoing 25 operations, extensive physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
After running the female category’s fastest 100 miles on a treadmill in 21 hours, 43 minutes, and 29 seconds, she has now won her first Guinness World Records title as part of the Impairment Records Initiative.
The initiative aims to establish an initial twenty-three classification categories for physical, intellectual, and visual impairments. The categories will be applicable across all sports, strength, and “journey” records and will be developed with the assistance of external experts.
The record attempt was held at Bespoke Treatments Physical Therapy in Manhattan, New York, USA, where Amy was supported by a team of friends and physical therapists during the 24-hour period.
Amy had little time to rest between the 100 miles she needed to complete due to the pressure of meeting a 22-hour minimum. She carried a variety of prosthetics in case one became uncomfortable, as well as many bottles of health drinks, carbs, and energy bars to keep her fueled for the task.
Amy began her race against the clock at 7:20 a.m. on a Saturday, just like she would any other morning run. She was aware that the key was maintaining a regular pace and time and setting an hourly goal of clocking a particular distance to guarantee she stayed on track.
Confronted with tiredness, dehydration, and muscle cramps, there were numerous occasions throughout her adventure that she needed to stretch and reset her attitude to maintain the motivation to continue. Her team provided her with the emotional support and encouragement she required to reach the finish line in 21 hours, 43 minutes.
Claire Stephens, the adjudicator, was on-site to certify the new record and give Amy a certificate for her valiant efforts.