RACING SPIRIT: Mick Darlow is readying himself for the 2019 Coffs Tri.
RACING SPIRIT: Mick Darlow is readying himself for the 2019 Coffs Tri. Darrell Nash

Darlow will dig deep in Coffs tri

TRIATHLON: Just two years ago Mick Darlow competed in triathlons as an able-bodied athlete.

Now, after an 18-month hiatus due to injury, Darlow is a paratriathlete.

While training for a half ironman in November 2016, Darlow experienced severe pain in his foot and discovered a lump which an x-ray revealed to be bone fragment.

After multiple surgeries, he now has a fused ankle preventing flexion and extension and ruling out any chance of ever running again.

Darlow was determined to stay active and continue being involved in a sport he enjoyed, so he bought a pre-loved hand cycle and race wheelchair and set about learning how to use both.

In the past 12 months he has competed in the Hell of the West 5km Inferno run, the bcu Enticer Triathlon, the Handcycle criterium race in Wollongong, the sprint distance Triathlon in Shepparton as well as regular Coffs Harbour Tri Club races.

Darlow said he felt a great sense of achievement after finishing a race and had now signed up for his first Olympic distance triathlon as a paratriathlete, the bcu Coffs Tri in March next year.

He has also encouraged other triathletes to enter.

"I have picked the bcu Coffs Tri as my daughter wants to watch me do my first race over this distance and this is a very spectator friendly event.

"You don't need to be a sports person or a certain body shape, you just need to be you. And remember, you are only out there racing yourself.”