Turia Pitt, an Australian Triathlete, was severely burned while competing in the Western Australia 100km Ultra-Marathon event in 2011, but that hasn’t stopped her from living her dreams.
During the event, a bushfire started burning out of control and came straight through the race path, injuring several runners. Pitt suffered severe burns to over 65% of her body. She was told that she would never run again, but she proved everyone wrong when she completed the world’s toughest Ironman race in 2016.
Pitt endured two-and-half years of recovery in the hospital, undergoing a number of major surgeries. Returning to compete was a major goal for Pitt and was a constant motivator in her recovery. Before the 2016 competition, Pitt told Sydney’s (Austrailia) Ten News, “If I finish the race with a smile on my face, I’ll say that’s a massive success for me.”
Pitt wasn’t just coming back to compete, however, she was also coming back to test herself and be an example to others. That fact was clearly evident given the competition she chose to participate in, the Hawaii Ironman.
To compete, Pitt wore specialized athletic clothing to protect her from the harsh elements. “One of the consequences of being burnt is that my body can’t regulate its temperature as well, so when I get hot I get really hot,” she said.
Being the true athlete Turia Pitt has always been, she said the Ironman race didn’t go exactly according to her plan, but she persevered. Turia Pitt swam for 3.8km, cycled for 180km and ran for 42km to finish the competition with a time of 14:37:30.
Turia offered a message afterward that she shared on her Facebook page:
“Feeling really bloody proud. Not the perfect race, not everything went as planned. But I dug deep and gave it everything I had, and you can’t ask for more than that.”
No, you certainly can’t ask for more than that. Respect.