Burns survivor Turia Pitt finishes world’s toughest ironman race

Inspiring burns survivor Turia Pitt has finished her debut Hawaiian Ironman triathlon.

The 29-year-old Australian completed the 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42.2km marathon run event in 14 hours 37 minutes 30 seconds, finishing after dark on Sunday at the town of Kailua-Kona.

Turia suffered burns to 65 per cent of her body in a WA bushfire five years ago and has to have over 200 operations.

She was competing in an ultramarathon when the fire nearly killed her.

The burns have left Pitt unable to regulate her body temperature, so she wore special race clothing to cope with the severe heat and humidity in Hawaii.


Turia has become famous for her incredible mindset to overcome her injuries, and has since done the Kokoda Trail, which is an incredibly tough hike through the jungles of Papua New Guinea, as well as triathlons.

In the lead-up to the race fact Turia said she knew the pain she would feel during the torturous Hawaii ironman triathlon would be nothing compared to what she has been through before.

And that knowledge, she said, would help her achieve her dream of not just competing in a Hawaii ironman, but completing it.

“Firstly, I think about everything I’m grateful for and really focus on that. It helps shut down any other thoughts that have a tendency to creep in,’’ Turia said.

“The other strategy I call on is that I compare what I’m going through to my recovery. I’ll say to myself ‘well girl, the pain you’re feeling right now is nothing compared to what you’ve gone through before.

“Reminding myself of that helps me stay mentally strong.’’


Never underestimate the power of self belief. #IMKona pic.twitter.com/CrQGprZJ4o

— Turia Pitt (@TuriaPitt) October 3, 2016


This is Turia’s second Ironman-distance triathlon finish, following the Ironman Australia race in May at Port Macquarie, New South Wales.