Defying Limits: Peruvian Para Triathlete Arturo Rudy Yarasca Gabriel
The Ironman 70.3, also known as the Half Ironman, is one of a series of long-distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation. The ”70.3” refers to the total distance in miles covered in the race, which consists of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride, and a 13.1-mile run. For many of us, the thought of completing even one of these segments is so intimidating that we wouldn’t even try. Arturo Rudy Yarasca Gabriel, a Peruvian Para triathlete, however, assumed it as a personal challenge to show the world that there are no limits when we seek to pursue new goals and objectives. With the life purpose of promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities through sports, Arturo’s participation in this race is more than a competition, it is about leaving a legacy in Peruvian parasports.
In 2009, while Arturo was fulfilling his duty to defend national sovereignty and fight against drug trafficking in the Valley of the Apurímac, Ene and Mantaro Rivers (VRAEM), an explosive device detonated during a confrontation with criminal narco-terrorists. He suffered the amputation of his right upper limb, in addition to multiple ear and eye injuries and lacerations to the body.
After a long recovery, Arturo was not going to allow criminals to take away his love and passion for sports. Working closely with his prosthetists, he was fit with a prosthesis that allowed him to use a variety of Fillauer terminal devices to stay active, including the Criterium, Criterium Pivot, Grip Prehensors, Black Iron Master, and Mill’s Rebound Pro Basketball Hand.
Arturo trained and competed in triathlons for four years before finally placing first in April 2022, in the Physically Disabled/Intellectually Disabled (PC/ID) category at the Ironman 70.3 in Peru. With this win, he was selected by the Ironman brand as one of five Para triathletes worldwide to compete in the Ironman 70.3 World Championship, PC/ID Open event August 23-27 in Lahti, Finland.
”As a pioneer of paratriathlon in Peru, I feel proud to be able to carry the flag of my country in this sports festival that brings together the best triathletes in the world,” said Arturo. “It’s a dream that makes me want to get up every morning to train; I want to be an example for my son so that he sees in me that having a disability is just a condition, not a limitation in life”.
Arturo completed the swimming segment in 45:25, the bike in 2:44:17 and the run in 1:34:51, making a total time of 05:09:57 hours. Finishing 3rd place in the PC/ID category and in position 2358 out of a total 3322 finalists, Arturo is a champion in sport and in life.
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