Edmonds’ Andre Kajlich wins Ironman World Championship

Yes, this blog is normally reserved for all things Seahawks, Mariners, and Sounders, but right now we’re dedicating this space to a less well-known, but far more inspiring local athlete.

I’ve written about Andre Kajlich a couple of times now. Really, his story is one worth reading. Kajlich, who grew up in Edmonds, lost both of his legs in a 2003 accident in Prague. He only recently discovered triathlon, but has quickly become a force in the handcycle division of the sport.

Last season, less than a year after he took up the sport, Kajlich finished second at the Ironman World Championships in Kona. Today, he did one better, winning a world championship in his classification.

And rather than rest, Kajlich will head to Auckland, New Zealand next week for the ITU Triathlon World Championships, where he will try to win a second world championship in as many weeks in a very different version of triathlon. Unlike Ironman competitions, which involve a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike (hand cycle in Kajlich’s case) and a marathon run (race wheelchair for Kajlich), the race in Auckland is a sprint, with paratriathletes competing on a course that consists of a 750-meter swim, and 20-K hand cycle and a 5-K race wheelchair.

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