Lauren Parker finished her first IRONMAN as a Paratriathlete in 14:00:47, with a 3.8km swim, 180km ride and 42.2km run between her and the finish line in St. George.
The race was Parker’s first IRONMAN since suffering serious injuries in a training accident in 2017
“It was a really tough day out, one of the toughest I’ve ever had in my life,” said Parker. “I had a decent swim in the cold waters of St. George and I got onto the bike and I was feeling pretty good right from the start and got stronger as the day went on and I got to put a good bike together in seven and a half hours, and that was my goal.
“I was all on track to getting the time that I wanted and on that run though, I’ve been talking all week about how brutal that bike course is but that run course was probably more brutal than ever,” she said. “It’s the hardest thing I’ve done so just to get through that run course, that second lap I really had to dig deep and to get up those hills was a really big challenge for me in a racing wheelchair. I proved to myself that Anything is Possible if you believe in yourself and never give up.
This year is a year like no other for IRONMAN, with the rescheduled 2021 IRONMAN World Championship held this weekend in Utah, ahead of the 2022 Supersapians IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawai’i this October.
St. George became 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, with the Utah course a challenging one for all.
“It is a beautiful course but on race day, in race time I’m not looking at the scenery I’m looking at the road ahead and thinking about the pain I’m in and how I’m going to conquer the course,” she said. “All week being here in St. George in Utah I’ve been over the course quite a few days and the scenery is absolutely magnificent and I couldn’t ask for a better place to have the IRONMAN World Championships for my first IRONMAN.”
The 33-year-old now has her sights set on Kona in October.
Karl is a Sydney based father of 3, a keen home improver and an age group triathlete who races on the M5 Acadamies triathlon team, coached by 'The Croc' Brad Beven. A good life balance is incredibly important! Karl is the co-founder of Trizone, works in the commercial joinery industry in Australia and is passionate about the sport of triathlon.