‘My skin stuck to rock’: Turia Pitt’s harrowing memory of ultra-marathon grassfire 10 years on

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Tens year after being trapped by a grassfire during an ultra-marathon, Turia Pitt has told of what went through her mind as she recounted the events that changed her life.

The NSW mining engineer, best selling author and mindset coach, 34, was competing in the 100km event in remote Western Australia in 2011 when she was trapped by the flames and suffered burns to 65 per cent of her body.

She lost seven fingers, underwent more than 200 medical procedures and spent two years in recovery after the fire.

Marking the 10th anniversary of that incident, Pitt took to social media and her website to recount the events of that day.

She said she remembered the hot sun beating down and scorching her already burnt skin and how she tried to drink some water but spat it out because it was boiling.

Turia Pitt, 34, has remembered the life changing moment she was trapped by a grassfire. Supplied
Camera IconTuria Pitt, 34, has remembered the life changing moment she was trapped by a grassfire. Supplied Credit: Supplied
Turia Pitt has remembered the life changing moment she was trapped by a grassfire during an ultramarathon 10 years on. Picture: Supplied
Camera IconShe said she remembered telling herself to think of her husband Michael. Supplied Credit: NCA NewsWire

“I remember seeing bits of my skin stuck to the rocks and spinifex,” Pitt said.

“I remember the small group of us, banded together. The guys trying to construct some shade for Kate and I, a parasol of fluoro material lit up against the sky.”

She said she also remembered thinking of her husband Michael, telling herself to think of his “warm face”, “honey voice” and “golden skin” to get through.

Pitt recalled feeling a “bubbling feeling of panic” and desire to be rescued, wanting to be told by anyone that she was going to be okay.

Then she described the sun beginning to set and the breeze becoming colder.

“I remember saying: ‘I don’t know if I can stay much longer’.

“And then, I remember salvation. The tch-tch-tch-tch of a helicopter racing across the sky.”

She dubbed the pilot Paul Cripps her “saviour”, saying he rescued her from a “literal life or death situation”, but she admitted thinking the aircraft wouldn’t return for her after it first rescued another woman.

“I also didn’t know how dangerous it had been for him to fly down the gorge to us.

“That balancing the chopper on one skid was the result of sheer gutsiness and extreme skill.”

Now, Pitt is a mother of two boys that also runs her own podcast and running program.

Her post received lots of positive traction from the general public and well-known Australian personalities like model Megan Gale and television presenter Jessica Rowe.

“You are a constant source of inspiration,” Gale wrote.

“You’re an incredible woman Turia,” Australian writer and broadcaster Clementine Ford posted.

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