Obstacle racer conquers injuries on way to world champs
KATE Clark has not encountered an obstacle she could not climb over, get through or overcome.
The 34-year-old Caloundra woman is ranked second in Queensland in obstacle racing, an extreme sport in which participants clamber over metre-high walls, wade through muck, crawl under barbed wire, and run anywhere from 7km to 42km courses.
As one of the top-three female competitors in the state, Mrs Clark will go to Ohio in October to represent Australia in the World Championships.
It is a tremendous achievement for someone who came close to death in her teens.
In 1998, when 17, Mrs Clark received a liver transplant.
"It was a genetic condition that my brother and my dad also suffered from," she said.
"I was pretty lucky to get a transplant and recover as well as I have done.
"The surgeon said to the family afterward that if the organ hadn't been available that day, I wouldn't have lived out the week."
Before the surgery, Mrs Clark had been an avid Little Athletics competitor.
After her transplant she took up athletics again and competed for Australia in the World Transplant Games, where she still holds several records.
In late 2014, Mrs Clark and husband Paul took up obstacle racing.
After competing in six races this year, Mrs Clark found herself headed to the world championships. Then two weeks ago, Mrs Clark fractured her skull during training.
But following intensive physiotherapy, Mrs Clark is already back training.
"I'm just trying to get my fitness levels back up," she said.
"I would definitely like to be top 10 - realistically I'm looking at top 20."
Last week she became the first person in her team to master a newly-built 8m long "traverse wall", putting the team's males to shame.
To find out more and support Mrs Clark, visit the Fitness X OCR Facebook page.