Inspiring Aussie burns survivor Turia Pitt has finished the world’s toughest one-day endurance event, the Hawaiian Ironman triathlon.
In her debut in the legendary race, the brave 29-year-old completed the 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42.2km marathon run event in 14 hours 37 minutes 30 seconds, before falling into the arms of fiancé Michael Hoskin.
“Feeling really bloody proud,” a beaming Turia writes on her Instagram page. “Kona is brutal and it definitely was 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.”
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Feeling really bloody proud. Kona is brutal and it definitely was 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. 3.8km swim 180km bike 42km run Time: 14:37:30 #IMKona #anythingispossible 📸 @kleinyheraldsun
Turia tuned up for the gruelling test by finishing the Ironman Australia race over the same distance in May in Port Macquarie.
But the Hawaii event, contested on the unforgiving heat of the Kona lava fields, is a different beast altogether.
The 2011 WA bushfire that left Turia with burns to 65% of her body, means she can no longer regulate her body temperature. Doctors thought she’d never be able to run again after 200 operations.
So she wore special race clothing to cope with the severe heat and humidity that are features of the Hawaiian Ironman.
Severe injuries to her hands mean Turia also has custom-made gear and brake levers on her bike.
— 7 News Sydney (@7NewsSydney) October 9, 2016
Before the race, Turia told the Herald Sun the final section of the Ironman World Championships would be a tough test.
“Because of my burns, I can’t regulate my own body temperature. I have to make adjustments or use standard tri gear in different ways … I will need things such as cooling sleeves and white suits to deal with the heat in Kona,’’ she said.
“I’d rather take a crack at it and fail than not even try at all.”