Visually impaired woman discovers her potential at IRONMAN
As IRONMAN competitors pass race station number 4, Liz Baker stands on the side of the road cheering and handing out water to the runners.
Baker knows the importance of staying hydrated when competing in a triathlon. In 2014 she was in their shoes trying to make it to the finish line.
“It was a great day, everything aligned correctly,” said Elizabeth Baker, athlete.
Donate to Liz Baker's page| here
Baker who's been visually impaired since 16 set a goal that she would compete in IRONMAN by the time she hit 40.
Last year, with the help of a guide assisting her on the course she met her goal, clocking in at 11 hours and 41 minutes. This was only the beginning.
“He had said I looked at all the records and I think you are the fastest visually impaired athlete to do an IRONMAN. I think you need to try to head to the Olympics,” said Baker.
Those words inspired Baker to set a new goal, now she’s on the road to the Paralympics in Rio next year.
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The Chattanooga Triathlon Club is helping Baker get to qualifying events around the world, by volunteering at IRONMAN.
Since the volunteers gave their time, the IRONMAN Foundation will give a grant to help Liz.
“She’s an amazingly kind hearted woman. She even asked us: "Why are you doing this for me? But why not, she's an ordinary woman who has athletic ability, had no idea how much athletic ability she had,” said Katie Schufoo, Volunteer Organizer.
Baker says she's thankful IRONMAN allowed her to discover she had a hidden talent. She hopes to inspire many.
“When you have a visual impairment you can fill like your world is closed in on you and it's just so important for those kids to know it's not the end,” said Baker.
Baker is ranked third in third in the country. Only two from the United States qualify for the Paratriathlon team.
Baker still needs cash to compete in qualifying events in South Africa.