Tracey Richardson

"If it's to be, it's up to me". Inspirational mother of 4 children, 2 with cystic fibrosis. Took up running, became an Ironwoman and increased awareness of CF.

This super motivated woman is a mum to 4 children – two with cystic fibrosis who constantly need medical and hospital treatment. In 2002 she ‘hit the wall’. She was hugely overweight and suffering from ‘chronic sorrow’ where a person lives with someone else’s illness on a daily basis. She joined a gym and read an advertisement for a ‘Special K’ Triathlon and that changed her life.

Tracey has an inspirational and amazing story to tell – a story of success despite ongoing adversity and seemingly insurmountable odds, a story of how focus, passion and the “power of one” can change lives. Tracey spent 10 years working in Human Resources and Training & Development roles in both New Zealand and Sydney. After a short break to have her children Tracey returned to the workforce, but this time self employed and went on to win the prestigious supreme award from the Franchising Association of New Zealand – Franchisee of the Year - for her inspiring efforts in business. The continuous pressures of running a business and intensively caring for her 2 sick children, both of whom have the terminal genetic condition, Cystic Fibrosis, finally took its toll on Tracey. Morbidly obese and clinically depressed she was overwhelmed by her children’s increasing medical issues, feeling powerless to stop its ultimate course. At this low point, Tracey nearly opted out of life, but instead set about radically changing her life, embarking on a daunting physical and mental journey to find some value and purpose in her life. Tracey’s journey is a two year odyssey, one that took her from 25 kilos overweight and feeling worthless and powerless about her life to training for and completing the grueling Ironman NZ triathlon. Tracey simultaneously did this whilst raising the profile of Cystic Fibrosis by running the first official charity campaign in the races 20 year history. Then Tracey was invited to compete at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii in Oct 2004, considered the toughest endurance event in the world. The event producers asked her to feature in their multi Emmy award winning race coverage as the first non-American athlete to be featured in this NBC documentary, a programme viewed by a worldwide audience of 50 million viewers. Such is the power of Tracey’s story. Tracey has twice been profiled on TVNZ’s Sunday programme, she has featured in 5 different national magazines, and also been highlighted twice in Air NZ’s in-flight magazine as a main story. Tracey is currently also the face of TV2’s series of promotional commercials for the Special K Women’s triathlon.

She won the 2005 Vodaphone NZ Foundation “World of Difference” scholarship; an award that allows her to peruse her passion and to change lives. Tracey is not an elite athlete; she is a mum who juggles her hectic life to stretch her limits and find what she is made of. Her focus, passion and determination clearly demonstrate how one person can change lives! Vodafone NZ Foundation has selected her as a 2005 winner of its World of Difference award. Yet Tracey does all this whilst still caring for her sick children. Tracey continues her remarkable journey for Cystic Fibrosis. In January 2005 she was honoured in the New Year’s Queen’s Honours with a New Zealand Order of Merit (M.N.Z.M). Tracey will inspire and motivate your audience, getting them to look at what they are made of, to step outside their comfort zones and to achieve more with their lives. A natural and passionate speaker, she delivers from the heart to draw audiences in and prove to them without a shadow of a doubt, that indeed anything is possible.