Kelly is on her way to the Hawaii Iron Man!!! Track her progress at Ironman.com!
WHO SHE IS: Kelly Bruno was born on 23 March, 1984 with a birth defect that resulted in the amputation of her right leg below the knee. If the story ended there it would belong on some feel-good Saturday Morning Special, and not on Ranger Up. Luckily it doesn’t and we all have the pleasure of staring at pictures of her kicking all kinds of ass. In addition to being out-of-this-world hot, a published author, and a Biology/Pre-Med graduate from a prestigious university(that would probably rally for weeks if we published its name here), she has taken the world of disabled athletics by storm, claiming the 200-meter and 800-meter track and field world records for below-the-knee amputees while still in high school. Her 800-meter record still stands today. In April 2007, She became the amputee World Record Holder for the Iron Man Triathlon.
The suffering involved in sprinting wasn’t nearly enough and Kelly began a career in cross-country, where she quickly became one of the top runners on her high-school team, clocking in sub-seven-minute-mile averages. As high school wound to a close, Kelly tried to keep up the proud tradition of service to the nation that her father maintained in the Foreign Service by applying to all of the military branches. She was roundly rejected, despite her ability to easily max the men’s physical fitness test for all services.
With the challenges that the military provides removed from her realm of possibility, Kelly decided to ramp of the physical torture by becoming a tri-athlete. She has now completed numerous triathlons and half-marathons, as well as two Half-Iron Mans, and is currently preparing for her first ever full Iron Man in 2007 (We’re not sure, but we think that means a crap load of swimming and biking, followed by a marathon for a few extra giggles) and has a great shot at qualifying for the Paralympics. The coolest thing about her approach to these events is that despite her numerous accolades in disabled athletics, including placing 2nd in the ITU Triathlon World Championships, she’s gunning for YOU. She doesn’t want to be the best disabled athlete – she wants to sprint by your two-legged butt at sub-seven minute pace after a couple of hours of misery and leave you wondering what the heck just happened.
We would also like to reiterate that she is very hot.
WHY WE LOVE HER REASON #1: At the 2004 Uwharrie Mountain Run, which is an absolutely brutal event for those of you that love physical torture, Kelly was trucking down the final stretch, a little over 200 meters from the finish, when her prosthetic snapped in half, leaving her tiny body bouncing off the unforgiving landscape. Wasting no time, covered in blood, and effectively one-legged, Kelly hopped up on her left leg, grabbed her prosthetic and AGGRESSIVELY hopped in the final stretch. If this doesn’t seem cool to you, try hopping 200 meters sometime – we won’t even make you carry your own leg.
WHY WE LOVE HER REASON #2: She was told before the race that the demands of the mountain run were too much for her prosthetic, but did it anyway. Before you ask why she would do it, given that advice, I’m going to throw out a few phrases I’m sure NONE of you have heard. – “If you keep running on it, you’ll get a stress fracture.” – “It’ll never heal if you keep lifting.” – “You really just need to rest. Just tell your NCOs that you can’t do PT for a while.”
WHY WE LOVE HER REASON #3: At the 2006 Lake Crabtree Sprint Triathlon, Kelly’s leg got caught in the mud during her transition to the bike and she ended up crashing hard and legless with the additional bonus of having her bike smash on top of her. She promptly hopped up, reattached, added a few expletives to the world and trucked on, finishing near the top of her age group. We gave her double points for Rangering Up and for swearing.
WHY WE LOVE HER REASON #4: Did we mention that she is hot?
Want to send Kelly fan mail? Send e-mails to [email protected]
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