Reigning Ironman 70.3 world champion Melissa Hauschildt (formerly Rollison) has announced her intentions to make the start at the 2012 Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii on Oct. 13, 2012. Because of her 70.3 world championship win last September, Hauschildt only needs to validate her spot on the Kona start line by completing an Ironman event within the qualifying window. She had originally decided to hold off competing in the Ironman distance until 2013, but has since changed her mind. She will make the start at Ironman Cairns on Sunday, June 3.
“I was always going to go over and ‘watch’ Kona this year with the idea of racing it next year, but the new selection policy grants current world champions a wild card into Kona, provided they finish one full Ironman – I finally decided to take up the offer,” Hauschildt said in a press release from USM Events (the organizers of Ironman Cairns).
The drama does not end there. Hauschildt, who comes from a professional running background, is dealing with a lower leg injury that, according to the press release, “if not rested from running could potentially turn into a stress fracture and derail her entire season.”
In the race Hauschildt will swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and then walk the marathon.
“I was so disappointed with the results and surprised to be honest, I really didn’t feel it was that bad and just expected to be told to rest it for a few days. I kept hoping it was all just a dream the next day.
“I was so nervous about doing an Ironman but once you’ve fully committed that’s your big goal and everything goes into it. Training had been going so well and I’d just started to get excited, ” she said. “It’s not ideal but I’d like to go to Kona this year and have a good Ironman 70.3 season, so I am looking on the up side of it all.”
Hauschildt says her main goals this year are to defend her Ironman World Championship 70.3 title and do well at the Hy-Vee 5150 US Championship. Both races take place in the United States in September.
“It’s a tough call to be firing for all three distances but I’m confident I can handle the distance of a full Ironman now after having completed the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon.
“I’m not putting any expectation on myself this year,” she explained. “It’ll be a great experience and I’m sure I’ll be a lot more comfortable going into next year’s world champs with this under my belt. In comparison to the injuries I sustained as a runner I’m confident that this is only a minor setback and won’t affect my season in the US.”
Hauschildt anticipates it will take her six hours to complete the marathon, putting her at the finish line 12 hours after the start.
There may be some bragging rights up for grabs in the Hauschildt house with husband Jared competing in his first-ever triathlon at Ironman Cairns.
“Fingers crossed I can catch and pass Mel before she finishes her marathon walk. This might be my only chance to say I beat Mel in a tri,” said Jared.
“I hope Jared still has the legs to come back and walk with me after he flies past me on the run,” said Hauschildt. “I think he will surprise himself as long as he gets his nutrition right. He can swim all day long and we all know he can run like an African. But being such a lean runner he doesn’t have any fat stores to call upon so he’s going to have to eat like crazy.”