Australian Turia Pitt was told she would never walk again. Five years ago, the endurance athlete suffered brutal injuries and burns that covered 65% of her body after being forced to run through a wildfire to save her own life. On Saturday, she crossed the finish line of the iconic Ironman World Championship in Kona in a time of 14:37:30.
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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
Pitt was one of five competitors at the Australian Racing the Planet ultramarathon who suffered severe burns in 2011 after getting caught in a wildfire on the course. She was left with no thumb or fingers on her right hand, was in the hospital for 864 days and had over 100 surgeries on her long road to recovery.
She says that she initially decided to take on the Ironman as “the ultimate challenge to prove that she was stronger, fitter and faster than before the fire.”
Pitt also says she never doubted she would cross the Kona finish line, especially after completing Ironman Australia this year a whole hour faster than she initially expected.
“Competing in Ironman has ultimately showed me that I literally can do anything I put my mind to,” she said on her blog.
Pitt’s accomplishment got worldwide attention on Saturday from fellow athletes and made international headlines. She has been widely praised on social media.