The Thrill of Victory the Agony of PTSD
By Myra Brandenburg
For Amy Cotta, it isn’t the actual competing in extreme athletic events that gives her an adrenaline rush, it’s something so much more, deeper, more refined than just the thrill of the event….. or even the finish.
Keenly aware of what its like to have a child serving in the military, Amy competes in a variety of races each year, as her act of patriotism. She uses these events to visibly remind her fellow participants that freedom really isn’t free and her son, a Marine, is one who is serving on their behalf. Her focus in every competition is to bring attention to the realities of prolonged war for those returning home from combat and suffer from PTSD which hinders their quality of life long-term. Just over a year ago she mapped out a very robust competition schedule for 2013, which included three marathons, a very emotionally charging 26.2 march in White Sands, NM called the Bataan Memorial Death March, a few half marathons and a triathlon. All of which she would participate in her extremely worn combat boots; her signature tribute to her son and many of his friends whose lives have already gone silent. But early in 2013 she had the opportunity for a spot on the Arizona Ironman and she couldn’t wait! It is after all the mother of all endurance races with a 2.4 mile swim in river water, then a 112 mile bike race and topped off with a 26.2 mile run which she prepared to do in her combat boots.
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