Burns victim, who was told she wouldn't run again, finishes marathon in triumphant moment
It's been a long road back for Turia Pitt. The Australian ultra-marathon runner received burns to 65 percent of her body when she became caught in a bushfire while competing in Western Australia five years ago.
On Sept. 2, 2011, the part-time model and engineer was in the middle of the 100-kilometre race when a wind change created a wall of flames across her path. She was one of four runners who were seriously injured in the terrifying incident.
Lucky to survive and unable to walk initially, Pitt has spent years fighting back. She was even told by doctors that she would never run again. The 28-year-old survivor showed how far she had come on Sunday, when she made her comeback by completing her first marathon since she sustained the horrific injuries.
Pitt completed a 3.8 kilometre (2.36 mile) swim, cycled for an astonishing 180 kilometres (111 miles) and ran 42 kilometres (26 miles) at the Ironman Australia triathlon in Port Macquarie, New South Wales. It was an emotional moment for Pitt and all those who had supported her tough journey.
Pitt conquered the marathon in 13 hours and 24 minutes, faster than the 14-and-a-half hours expected, according to the Daily Telegraph. "It's the hardest thing I've ever done," she said.
The drive to complete the arduous marathon came from Pitt's desire to be fitter than she has ever been before. "What gets me out of bed is just getting back to that really compelling reason of why I wanted to do ironman — just to prove that I'm fitter now than I was in the ultra marathon," Pitt told Fairfax Media on Sunday.
Pitt told the publication that at the start it was tough dealing with her injuries, relying on help from her partner Michael, but admits she feels like herself again now that she is participating in more physical activities.
"My self-esteem has always been closely tied with my physical abilities, so when I couldn't do anything I felt like shit," Pitt told Fairfax Media.
Now Pitt has completed the marathon, she hopes to raise A$60,000 for Interplast — a NGO that specialises in providing free reconstructive surgery for people in developing countries. Then she will conquer the extremely rugged, 96 kilometre (59 mile) Kokoda track in Papua New Guinea in a few weeks.
An incredible example of beating the odds.
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