SAN DIEGO — Tara Miranda Parsons didn’t play sports as a kid, but she was born to run, doing it six days a week.
“Anywhere between one hour to eight hours,” said Parsons, a triathlon winner.
In 2015, she ran across the Grand Canyon. The experience led her down a path of extreme sports.
“100k and then 100 miles. Then I started swimming and cycling and then I started doing triathlon,” Parsons said.
Flying 8,000 miles to Nepal to compete in her first ever triathlon. However, she ran into a problem once she landed.
“We were watching the luggage come off our regular bags show up, but the bike bag never shows up,” Parsons said.
The airline lost her bike and race gear. Despite having a week until the race, she was getting worried.
“And so I thought wow, like I trained for months and for nothing, kind of,” Parsons said.
The day before the race, she got a call.
“The race organizers were like nope, you’re in. We found a bike for you,” Parsons said.
With less than 24 hours before the event, she pieced together the rest of her equipment.
“I bought some things, I borrowed some things, and then it was game on,” Parsons said.
Parsons had to adjust for the elevation above sea level. San Diego’s average elevation is about 20 meters. Nepal has an average of 3,000, but she says she was ready for it.
“I did train on Palomar Mountain on my bike a lot, which gets about 5 to 6,000 feet so I got a little bit of altitude training beforehand,” Parsons said.
The training paid off as she became the first woman to cross the finish line.
“I didn’t expect to win at all. There were so many things stacked against me, so I was just so grateful to be there and complete it, and to win was like a cherry on top,” Parsons said.