Triathlete’s inspiring comeback from crash

Triathlete’s inspiring comeback from crash DETERMINED: Newcastle’s Lauren Parker will compete in her first triathlon since a freak accident left her paralysed from the waist down in April last year. Picture: Simone De Peak

SUPPORT: Lauren Parker has been training with Paralympic legend Kurt Fearnley. Picture: Simone De Peak

Lauren Parker prepares for a training session at Newcastle Athletics Track on Thursday. Picture: Simone De Peak

TweetFacebookI have trained my whole life and I kind of know nothing else. It’s just a part of me, so it was quite easy getting back into training. It’s actually taken my mind off things and it’s where I’m the most happy.

Lauren Parker

“I didn’t even think that I would be back doing triathlon let alone doing it this quick but there has been a lot of support from the triathlon community, saying they’d love to have me back training and giving me the motivation to get back into it,” she said.

“I’m back to being a newbie again so I don’t know what to expect …but itwill be a good experience and I’ll just go as hard as I can and see what the result is.

“If I qualify then that would be absolutely amazing. If I don’t then it doesn’t matter.”

Training with Fearnley under wheelchair coach Andrew Dawes has been a boost for the determined Parker.

”It’s been so good, he’s such a machine,” she said.

“He does about four laps to my one but he’s really encouraging and really good to train with. He pushes me.”

Her weekly training schedule in the build-up to this race hasbeen four swim sessions, three hand cycle sessions and three racing chair sessions.

Each discipline has come with its own challenges.

“The hand cycle and racing chair are not really long sessions, but in a one-hour sessions it’s pretty hard work,” Parkersaid.

“The racing chair is the most technical but the hand cycle is just really hard on your arms.

“Your arms are in pain the whole time.”

“I haven’t hand cycled after swimming 750mand then theracing chair after the handcycle.”

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