Santa Cruz resident and wheelchair triathlete Erik Edmonds finished the Ironman California 70.3 in Oceanside on March 31.

Edmonds, who is paralyzed from the middle/upper back down but swims without aid, used two three-wheeled racing chairs (one for running and another for cycling) for the hilly land portions of the triathlon, crossing the finish line in 8 hours, 14 minutes, 11 seconds.

In overcast conditions and some light drizzling, Edmonds finished the 1.2-mile swim in 1:05:42, the 56-mile bike in 4:36:41 and the 13.1-mile run in 2:16:11 for sixth place in the physically challenged division [2,082 overall], according to results.

But his race, which was his first half-Ironman, was not without incident.

“Pretty close to the beginning of the run, I crashed and blew a tire. So I did most of the run with a flat,” Edmonds wrote in an email, noting that the challenge was also one of the biggest highlights of his race, along with finishing.

Next up, Edmonds plans to do the Wildflower tri in May and an Ironman down the road.

Also from Santa Cruz County, pro triathlete Eric Clarkson placed 29th overall [4:17:00], Stephanie Shonnenshine placed 1,741 [6:56:18], and Nickola Losee placed 1,767 [6:59:51], Alice Gallup placed 2,106 [8:23:00].

Andy Potts of Colorado Springs was the overall winner, finishing in 3:54:03, and Canadian Melanie McQuaid was the women’s winner in 4:19:13.

— Christina Gullickson, on Twitter at CGullTweets

NOTE: An earlier version of this post said Edmonds competed in the wheelchair division. He actually competed in the physically challenged division, which had two wheelchair racers. Also, a reader pointed out that earlier the post and headline made it sound as if Edmonds was physically bound to his wheelchairs, which is not the case. He just gets around with them. This post has been updated to reflect those changes.