SLO resident makes long haul back from injury to her goal

After her leg was mangled, Karen Aydelott chose amputation as the best way to return to the sports she loves

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By Cynthia Lambert at The Tribune & SanLuisObispo.com

In the early morning hours of Nov. 20, Karen Aydelott pulled on her wetsuit, tugged on two swim caps and got ready to plunge into the 61-degree waters of Arizona’s Tempe Town Lake with about 2,640 other people.

Aydelott, of San Luis Obispo, had arrived at the starting area of Ironman Arizona at 5 a.m., the same time the transition area opened for the long-distance triathlon.

Around her, hundreds of triathletes double-checked their gear and prepared for the start of a grueling race that includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run, in that order.

Aydelott was excited, but nervous. She’d competed in the same race the prior year, but dropped out 20 miles into the run. She ran 23 miles in a hilly Ironman race in Utah in May, but wasn’t able to finish in the required time.

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By Cynthia Lambert at The Tribune & SanLuisObispo.com