GREENWICH, Conn. – Barely a year after her first triathlon, Greenwich’s Amy Dixon reached the podium Sunday in her first international competition.
Dixon finished third for the United States in her division of the Pan American Triathlon Confederation paratriathlon championships in Dallas. Teaming with guide Caroline Gaynor, Dixon covered the distance in 1:36:03. Patricia Walsh of Seattle won the race in 1:18:41 followed by Christine Robbins of Canada in 1:32:34.
"It was an amazing race,'' Dixon said. "I had an amazing swim, and the bike was more hilly than I expected. The run was absolute torture because it was so hot. We were all suffering out there."
Dixon jumped on the triathlon fast track after picking up the sport last year. She raced in her first triathlon in June 2013 in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. In subsequent races, Dixon performed well enough to earn an invitation to represent the U.S. in the Pan American championships.
Dixon has less than 1 percent vision. She developed uveitis, an inflammation of the uvea, 16 years ago and has progressively lost nearly all vision. She races in triathlons with a guide, who is tethered to Dixon during the swim and run. The guide also rides with Dixon on a tandem bike. Dixon travels with her Guiding Eyes dog, Elvis.
"It was the coolest thing to stand on the podium and hear the national anthem,'' Dixon said. "It was the best national anthem I've ever heard in my life. Especially because so many of my teammates are former military personnel who were wounded in combat. It was a cool moment to share with them."
Gaynor has been Dixon’s guide for the past year.
Dixon is trained by Jon Stellwagen of Elite Health Services in Greenwich. Last week, Dixon was also named to the U.S. team that will compete in the International Triathlon Union World Championships in Chicago later this month.
Read more about Dixon's story here.