PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This is triathlon weekend here in Philadelphia, with thousands taking part in the Philly Tri.
Saturday was the Sprint distance. Sunday, the big event, the Olympic distance features pros and elites competing for $40,000 in prize money. But for some athletes, the experience is worth more than any cash prize.
Sarah Reinertsen lost her leg as a child. She’s one of over a dozen athletes competing in the Philly Tri with the Challenged Athletes Foundation.
“CAF is a charity that helps athletes with disabilities, to get the adaptive equipment that they might need to participate.Racing chairs are $3,000-$5,000; my running leg is $36,000.”
Reinertsen says triathlons transcend physical performance, there’s also a mental wellness.
“We have a special program called operation rebound where we work with a lot of the injured soldiers who have come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, and there’s definitely a huge emotional healing that occurs when they can get back out there and cross the finish line and feel good again,” Reinertsen says.
She would know since she was the first woman on a prosthetic leg to finish the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.