Battling heat, humidity and an intense tropical wind, Turia Pitt took a gruelling 14 hours, 37 minutes and 30 seconds to prove – if there was ever any doubt – that she is a true champion.
Only five years after being trapped in a raging bushfire, the courageous burns survivor has triumphantly completed the world’s hardest triathlon
– the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.
‘I was so bloody proud of myself to finish,’ laughs the inspiring athlete, author and motivational speaker. ‘The course was just brutal – it wasn’t the perfect race and not everything went as planned.
Just counting her blessings helped Turia conquer the epic 3.8km swim, 180km cycle ride and 42.2km marathon run at Kailua-Kona in Hawaii – an incredible feat for someone who so recently had to relearn how to walk and talk.
‘For me, bringing the focus back to everything I have and what I’m grateful for is incredibly powerful,’ she tells New Idea
in an exclusive interview.
Principal among them is her stalwart partner, former policeman Michael Hoskin, 32, who was waiting at the finish line after dark to greet her with a loving hug – as he was when she completed her debut Ironman triathlon in Port Macquarie earlier this year.
‘He’s been there for me every day,’ she says of the man who became her full-time carer for several years after her ordeal by fire – feeding her, cleaning her teeth and even helping her go to the toilet.
With a little bit of luck, they will marry next year – ‘The wedding plans have taken a bit of a back seat this year with everything else that’s been happening!’ she says – and one day have children together. ‘We’re both big on family, so hopefully kids will be in our future at some stage,’ smiles Turia, who has been assured there’s no medical reason she can’t give birth.
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