By Katie Fallon

Sandy Springs resident Scott Rigsby, 39, made history Oct. 13 by becoming the first double amputee to finish the Ironman triathlon championship in Kona, Hawaii.

As reported in the Sept 21 and Oct. 5 editions of the Reporter, Rigsby lost his right leg in a car accident at the age of 18. Twelve years later, he elected to have his left leg amputated due to lingering health problems.

Rigsby finished the “world series” of triathlons – which includes a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike course and marathon run of 26.2 miles – in nail biting fashion with a time of 16 hours and 42 minutes, just 18 minutes shy of the 17-hour cutoff.

Despite being kicked in the eye during the swim, facing 30 mile-per-hour headwinds during the cycling portion and having to dump sweat out of his prosthetic legs every four miles during the run, Rigsby completed each phase of the race within the time limits before receiving resounding applause as he crossed the finish line.

“The last three miles were probably the worst self-inflicted pain I’ve ever felt,” Rigsby said. “I was so happy, but in so much pain.”

Rigsby said he will spend the next year focusing on his nonprofit organization, The Scott Rigsby Foundation, and participating in smaller triathlons to be 100 percent ready for the 2008 Hawaiian Ironman.