She draws inspiration from the late Kobe Bryant (she named her bike, a 2023 Ventum One sent by sponsor Ventum, after him), and this quote by Louis Zamperini from the movie Unbroken, “One minute of pain is worth a lifetime of glory.”
The challenges and nuances that a typical athlete may face during training and racing are elevated for the neurodivergent community – finding the right fuel to work with food sensitivities, time management, not being able to process things as quickly, a panic attack because you can’t see to the bottom of where the open water swim is, the list can go on. These encounters can be debilitating to a person with autism.
As a middle child, Bunn’s parents helped her adapt to life with an invisible disability while ensuring all three daughters were able to pursue their unique talents. For Adrienne, that meant athletics. She’ll race with her coach and guide Doug Guthrie in the Physically Challenged/Intellectual Disability (PC/ID) Open division that was launched in February.
Guthrie, an accomplished IRONMAN athlete himself with 25 IRONMAN finishes and qualifying for Kona six times, is an important pillar for Bunn. He motivates her and provides support in guiding her through challenging moments that can be attributed to her autism – at the start when there are too many people, when the water is too dark, and she can’t see the bottom, and other unknowns during a race. Over the course of 16 weeks, the pair have trained together for up to 15 hours per week, establishing a bond and learning to trust each other’s capabilities, which will be valuable come race day.
“After racing the IRONMAN 70.3 event in Ohio, and turning 18 just days prior, I knew this was my year for the VinFast IRONMAN World Championship race in Kona. My family and I called KultureCity co-founder Michele Kong who spearheaded submitting my IRONMAN 70.3 Ohio results and petitioned for an entry into the championship. I’m beyond grateful for the support KultureCity and Bened Life have provided me thus far and am looking forward to showing others with invisible disabilities that the nevers are possible,” says Adrienne Bunn, a Special Olympic, and IRONMAN Foundation Ambassador athlete, and triathlete with autism competing to be youngest known female finisher with autism at the 2023 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship triathlon in Kona, HI.
“Adrienne is a remarkable young woman who is going to continue to do extraordinary things. When the Bunn family reached out to pursue her competing in the 2023 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship race, we immediately called for all hands-on deck to get Adrienne to Kona. We are so proud of not only the physical preparation she is doing, but also her very important ‘A’ goal of inspiring others with invisible disabilities to Make the Nevers Possible,” said Michele Kong, co-founder of KultureCity.
“It has been an honor to get to know and sponsor Adrienne for this very special initiative. Since day one, we’ve been dedicated to creating an inclusive and welcoming space for the neurodivergent community to thrive and pursue activities they may have been told they couldn’t. As a company that is on the leading edge of microbiome and health science innovation, producing specialized, patented probiotics that influence brain health, especially for those with autism, we know how important it was to Adrienne to have our support,” says Sunny Cash, Community Director at Bened Life.
For more information on Adrienne Bunn, please visit https://www.kulturecity.org/f/adriennes-journey-to-hawaii/?wpf934_6=adriennes-journey-to-hawaii.
For more information on KultureCity, please visit www.KultureCity.org.
For more information on Bened Life, please visit www.BenedLife.com.
For more information on IRONMAN, please visit www.ironman.com/im-world-championship-2023.
SOURCE Bened Life