An Oklahoma City bombing survivor has completed her very first Ironman Triathlon.
While buried under the rubble of the Murrah building, Amy Downs made a pact with herself that she would not live her life the same. She started exercising and lost 200 pounds. She has competed in runs and bike rides all over the country.
“I love the challenge,” says Downs.
Her greatest challenge yet came a few weeks ago at the Arizona Ironman Triathlon in Tempe, Ariz. The Ironman consists of 2.5-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and 26.2-mile marathon at the end. Each competitor must meet time cut offs or their race is over, even if the finish line is in sight. During mile 25 of the run, Downs was struggling to run and was asked by race officials if she had her time chip.
“I got a sudden burst of energy and yelled at them,” says Downs. "I had 17 hours to do it and, by golly, I was going to do it."
A year’s worth of training paid off in the end. Downs was the last one to cross the finish line with a time of 16 hours and 50 minutes.
“I was thinking," says Downs, who will soon become the CEO of the credit union where she worked the day of the bombing in 1995, "I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it. It was everything and more than I thought it would be.”