16 May 2019

There will be many inspiring stories behind the 6,000 plus participants lining up at the Air New Zealand Hawke’s Bay International Marathon this weekend, but foremost amongst them will be that of Korrin Barrett as she takes on the Cigna 10km event.

Barrett’s journey to the start line is already an incredible one that has inspired many who know her, meet her or hear her talk in her role as a motivational speaker, but on Saturday she will add another chapter to her storied life when she walks the 10km, the furthest this 39 year old has taken on since Osseointegration surgery to enhance the prosthetics in both her legs in 2016.

Barrett survived sepsis in 2012 however due to multiple organ failure and being on ECMO to save her life, she had amputations to all four limbs. Not content with ‘accepting’ that this should necessarily be an end to a busy and active lifestyle, Barrett continues to push boundaries and make the most of every day.

“I’ve since had Osseointegration (a process that sees an implant inserted into the end of the femur or tibia to enable a strong connection from the stump to the prosthesis) on both legs and now work as a speaker, mentor and ambassador to show others that no matter what happens, don’t give in! It’s about living life unlimited,” said Barrett upon entering Saturday’s event.

The choice of the Air New Zealand Hawke’s Bay International Marathon for her next challenge was an easy one, given the 39-year-old is again residing in the region, in Havelock North.

“Having moved back to Hawke’s Bay from Australia last year I thought this would be the perfect event to show the local community just what is possible if you put your mind to something. This will be the furthest distance I have walked on my prosthetic legs since 2016 and I think the 10km will be enough of a challenge, but hopefully it will lead to other walking events nationwide.”

Barrett’s incredible courage has not been in isolation however, since surviving Sepsis and the resultant amputation to all four limbs in 2012, she has enjoyed the unwavering support of family and friends, with many also taking on the various events on offer on Saturday, ready to converge and celebrate at the finish line at Elephant Hill Estate and Winery.

“I’m extremely lucky to have amazing people in my life who support me in everything I do. When entering I was wanting to do this for myself but now I want to do it for everyone who is doing it with me or supporting from the sidelines. I have my partner Craig walking with me in the 10km along with a number of friends. I also have friends who are running the half and full marathons, challenging themselves to get outside their comfort zones!”

Back in 2012 it was touch and go as to whether Barrett would survive, let alone be around in 2019 to take on the Cigna 10km and inspire through her actions and courage. Barrett spent 233 days in hospital and then many countless hours of rehab and retraining herself to live a new life, a more challenging one but one she quickly decided she would make the most of.

“My favourite quotes are ‘if it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you’ and ‘you’re given three choices in life, give in, give up or give it all you’ve got!’

“For me it’s not about how quickly I do the walk, it’s the fact I’m doing it, and everyone needs to reward themselves for actually taking part. If you can set your mind to it then your body will follow...and the wine at the end will be a nice reward too!”

And while many will quietly go about achieving their goals on Saturday, motivated by their own personal challenges, some remembering loved ones, others looking to impact on their health and wellbeing in a personal way without fanfare, Barrett is happy to talk about her journey in the hope she can impact other lives in a positive way.

“I’m hoping that by doing this event I’ll encourage others to challenge themselves and find their inner superhero. It’s all about living life unlimited.”

With her prosthetic legs and bionic arm and driven by her amazing spirit, Korrin will set off in the Cigna 10km event at 7:45am at the Tukituki Christian Camp, heading to the finish line at Elephant Hill Estate and Winery.

More can be discovered about Korrin Barrett at her official website and Facebook page.