1403665260894.jpg-300x0After everything she has endured, it is extraordinary to hear Turia Pitt refer to herself as “the luckiest girl in the world”.

But, Pitt is hardly ordinary.

Less than three years ago doctors said it was unlikely the 29-year-old ultra-marathon runner would live.

Turia Pitt on the cover of The Australian Women’s Weekly.

It was September 2011 and Pitt was racing through the Kimberleys.

She was surrounded by bush fire and suffered burns to 65 per cent of her body. Doctors gave her the only slimmest chances of survival.

She ended up spending 864 days in hospital, enduring more than 100 surgeries, had fingers amputated and had to learn to walk again.

Not only has Pitt made a breathtaking recovery, in the past six months alone she rode her bike from Sydney to Uluru, swam a 20 kilometre race in Western Australia and walked the Great Wall of China.

Turia, with partner, Michael Hoskin. Photo: Turia Pitt FacebookTuria, with partner, Michael Hoskin. Photo: Turia Pitt Facebook

Her Herculian efforts have all been to raise funds for the reconstructive surgery charity, Interplast. She has also written a book and is studying a master’s degree in engineering.

Now, Pitt is making her debut as the cover girl for The Australian Women’s Weekly. In the magazine, which goes on-sale tomorrow, Pitt says being on the cover “is a huge honour”.

“I feel very humbled,” said the athlete, who joins the judging panel of the magazine’s annual Women of the Future scholarship awards.

“For me, it sends the message that confidence equals beauty. There are a lot of women out there who are so beautiful but don’t have the confidence, and that’s what gets you over the line.”

Confidence and also knowing your own strength; something she says she discovered through dealing with her injuries.

“We all have that inner strength, but rarely do we get the chance to see how incredible we truly are,” Pitt said in a separate interview.

“I’ve had to claw my way back into life — learn to walk, to talk. All the things I had taken for granted before became seemingly impossible tasks.”


But, this unstoppable spirit shows it is possible to surpass the seemingly impossible.

Women’s Weekly editor-in-chief, Helen McCabe, said the magazine has been celebrating inspirational Australian womenfor 80 years.

“When Turia was photographed as part of our Women of the Future judging panel, among a group of similarly impressive Australian women, it was clear from the moment she sat in front of the camera that the July cover had to belong to her,” Ms McCabe said.

“Any attempt to describe the magic and beauty of Turia seems to get lost in platitudes or clichés. Yet I have never met a more remarkable person.”

The response to the cover has been overwhelmingly positive with industry figures praising the choice as “bold and beautiful”, “inspired” and “profound”.