“It’s pretty exciting, going to my first IRONMAN distance race since before my accident so I can’t wait to be there at the World Championships,” said Parker. “I’ve had a pretty good preparation, I’m feeling good for it.
“I love IRONMAN, it’s where my heart’s always been and where my heart is,” she said. “Just to be there on that start line, I’m super grateful to be out there competing with all the able-bodied athletes like I once was, but to be given the opportunity to be back at an IRONMAN I can’t be more thankful. It’s going to be an exciting day and a lot of emotions during the day I can expect, but I’m looking forward to every part of it.”
The 33-year-old had success at the IRONMAN World Championship before her accident, finishing second in her age group in 2015 and is looking forward to returning to the famous race.
“It’s going to be so special and to be out there and showing people with both disabilities and able-bodied people that anything is possible no matter what you’ve been through or what you’re going through,” said Parker. “I want to bring home to a lot of people and inspire people to be positive and that if you really go after your goals and dreams anything is possible and I hope to do that on the day.”
This year is set to be a year like no other for IRONMAN, with the rescheduled 2021 IRONMAN World Championship to be held this Saturday 7 May in Utah, ahead of the 2022 Supersapians IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawai’i this October.
St. George becomes the first location to host the event outside of Hawai’i since its origins in 1978, with the IRONMAN World Championship returning after a two-year COVID-enforced hiatus.
While St. George is a new venue for the IRONMAN World Championship it’s one that Parker is very familiar with, having spent time there last year, and racing at the 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship last September.
“I know a lot of people there now from being there last year, I’ve got a lot of friends there so I definitely have amazing support there which is great,” said Parker. “I love the roads of Utah, they’re really good to ride on and train and I’m getting to know the town and the outskirts of St. George pretty well, so that adds to the benefit.
“The IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship last year was the toughest race I’ve ever done in my life,” she said. “It was just a brutal course and then I decided to do double that and come back to St. George for the IRONMAN so I’m a bit crazy but I’m looking forward to the challenge and just to be able to conquer it, that’s my goal. It’s going to be a massive challenge but I’m looking forward to the journey.”
Parker is set to race alongside Australia professional triathletes Cameron Wurf, Matt Burton, Max Neumann and Renee Kiley at Saturday’s event.
A cyclist, tech geek at heart, a passion for new shiny things and a huge appetite for triathlon. I spend most of my time between managing two of the world's best triathletes and a traditional corporate life.