Roth, Germany (July 17, 2014) - Hawaii Ironman world champion Mirinda Carfrae declared herself a Roth ‘rookie’ and is hoping that tradition continues to deliver for debutantes at this race as it did for last year’s women’s champion Caroline Steffen (SUI).
Following her Kona win last year Carfrae wanted to take the opportunity to get to Roth after the glowing reports from many athletes and see what all the fuss was about for herself.
Carfrae is not fazed being the target going into events now as the reigning world champion.
“It’s an honour to be called world champion, it certainly does mean you have more obligations and more distractions to what you’re trying to do which is train and become a better athlete but for the most part I just take it as it comes and try to be role mode for future athletes getting into the sport.
“I’ve got good girls here and every race trying to hunt me down,” said Carfrae.
The game plan on Sunday is a simple one for the diminutive Aussie.
“Swim fast, bike fast and run fast.
“All of these girls have been here before and raced well here, so for me I’m a Roth ‘rookie’ this is my tenth Iron distance race. I’ll have to limit the damage on the swim, they’re better swimmers than me which is no secret and then try to do what I can on the bike and hopefully I’ll have a fast run split,” said Carfrae.“My best time is a 52 (swim split) in Kona but I would like to go faster than that and a PB would great but it will depend on what my body has to give on Sunday.”
Australia’s Rebekah Keat will also line up in Roth again, she is an experienced Roth campaigner and will be amongst the medals.
Carfrae is surround by quality women in the field and will have to be strong on the bike and produce a blistering run if she is to claim victory at the world’s greatest race. Among them will be Rachel Joyce (GBR) runner up to Carfrae in Hawaii last year and former winner here in 2013.
“I’m going to have my work cut out for me on Sunday, it feels like Kona here,” said Joyce
“I want to race fast and just going to have to see where that gets me on Sunday.
“It’s great for the sport to have such good fields in the men’s and women’s race and it’s going to go right down to the wire.
“It’s a fast course and I’m not sure I cracked the code (on her 2013 win) I just had a good day. You’ve got to be strong out there and the run is really fast,” said Joyce.
Defending champion Steffen will not give up her crown easily and has been here for the past two weeks training and feeling very comfortable on the course.
Following a big year in 2013 for Steffen with a move from Team TBB to new coach and worldwide Challenge ambassador Chris McCormack she has a new found passion for training and racing.
“To be honest I was an absolute mess last year that started in August and the change that happened around December was huge,” said Steffen.
“But now I’m just acting like a different person.
“I’m a happy racer again and I like the training again I’m a happy trainer,” said Steffen.
“It’s totally different, new coach whose support is absolutely amazing, to train with an absolute legend, he’s won Hawaii twice and Roth four times.
“He knows what I have to do it’s just great to not be training with him and not be in a team anymore and be my own boss,” said Steffen.
Another Roth winner the ‘flying Dutchwomen’ Yvonne van Vlerken knows what it takes to win here claiming victory on debut in 2010 and after a fourth in Hawaii last year has the pedigree to win.
Representing Germany Anja Beranek (formerly Ippach) and Julia Gajer will have both the crowd and local knowledge on their side as they take on the huge challenge of upstaging this world-class field.
DATEV Challenge Roth will celebrate 30 years of triathlon in Roth with a field of 5,500 athletes from over 60 nations, including the strongest pro field ever seen on the fast Bavarian course. Supported by over 220,000 spectators, Challenge Roth athletes will once again be a part of the greatest triathlon on earth.
The competition will start with a 3.8 kilometres swim in the Main-Donau-Canal, followed by a 180 kilometres bike race and a final marathon of 42 kilometres. The race winner is expected to cross the finish line in less than eight hours.
Professional Start: 6.30am
Photo Credit: Delly Car
Story Credit: IRONMAN