GREENWICH, Conn. -- Greenwich paratriathlete Amy Dixon finished fifth Sunday in her division at the ITU World Championships in Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
Dixon finished fifth in the sprint distance race, where she was the top American. Competing with guide Susanne Martineau Davis, Dixon completed the race in 1:19:01.
“I may not have physically executed the race I wanted, but I flawlessly executed the race I got out of my body on THAT day,’’ Dixon said. “Was it my best race physically? No. My heart rate was sky high and never recovered due to asthma and anxiety and mucus induced coughing spasms. I took a damn respectable fifth place. I AM proud.”
It was Dixon’s first race since she learned three weeks ago she had not been selected to compete for the United States in the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro in September. In a confusing decision in which athletes with much lower rankings and competition results were chosen over her, Dixon was not chosen to compete for the U.S. team. She entered Sunday’s race No. 6 in the world and No. 2 in the U.S.
In three years, Dixon’s ascent to the world stage has been nothing less than amazing. Dixon, who suffers from a rare form of glaucoma, uveitis, started training for triathlons early in 2013. Overweight and with little fitness, a friend convinced Dixon to try the sport and she began working out at the Greenwich YMCA.
She raced her first triathlon in June 2013 in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., and now, just over three years later, finished fifth in the world.
“Susanne did a wonderful job handling the most technical bike course in the history of Paratriathlon, smiling more with every lap,’’ Dixon said. “And I made a grownup call on the run to ditch my watch, handing it over to Susanne when I realized that my pace was too slow the first half mile and I simply didn't have the gas to run the race I had intended or been capable of in training. I decided to do the best that I could in that moment, tune out the distractions and to enjoy this day and enjoy the journey.”