Less than a month after finishing Ironman Australia, Turia Pitt has completed the gruelling Kokoda Track.
Sharing pictures of her 9-day trek exclusively with WHO, the 28 year old undertook the challenge with others for medical charity Interplast.
“People said that after Ironman, trekking Kokoda would be a walk in the park but it’s way more challenging than I expected,” says Pitt. “It was a real physical challenge for all of us—the mud, the blisters, creek after creek, and all those hills.”
Pitt, who suffered burns to 65 per cent of her body in a bushfire during a 100km ultra-marathon in WA’s Kimberley in 2011, faced her toughest test on the first day on May 23.
“It was so hot,” says Pitt, who has undergone more than 100 operations. “Because of my burns I find it hard to regulate my temperature and even though we only walked for two hours it was the hardest day.”
On the third day, another member of the group, mother-of-two Jess Caire, fell 25m down a cliff face and sustained leg injuries. “It was a reminder that at any time, things can change,” says Pitt. "I'm really grateful that she’s home now with her family and feeling OK."
On June 1, Pitt finished the historic trail, significant to Australians for the unforgiving battles played out there between the Allies and Japan during World War II.
“It’s hard to put into words the significance of this place, and how it feels to walk in the footsteps of the Australian soldiers—what was it really like for them?” says Pitt, who lives with fiancé Michael Hoskin in Ulladulla, on the NSW South Coast. “You can’t help but feel like you’re connected to that history, and it’s deeply humbling.”
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To donate: turiaskokodatrek.gofundraise.com.au