Kona’s third-place finisher Mirinda Carfrae of Australia will take on Ironman Florida this weekend, only three weeks after the 2012 Ironman World Championship. Carfrae, like many of the professionals who will race in Ironman events over the next few weeks, is looking to validate a Kona entry early and avoid an early-season Ironman in 2013. Carfrae is in a unique situation because she has won the Ironman World Championship within the last five years and will gain an entry to the 2013 Ironman World Championship simply by finishing an Ironman. If Carfrae crosses the finish line in Panama City, no matter her time, she will be the first professional to punch her ticket to Kona for 2013.
Carfrae chatted with The News Herald about her decision to race:
Carfrae said she is trying to capitalize on the fitness level that carried her to a third-place finish at Kona three weeks ago. She said her body still hasn’t recovered fully from that grueling race, noting she’s “not even close to 100 percent.”
“I planned before Kona to do an Ironman before the end of this year, whether it was Florida or Arizona,” Carfrae said. “There are a number of opportunities to race after Kona. The whole effort is to be free during the early part of the next season to dictate my race schedule. That being said, I am a competitor. I can’t help but wonder how well I can race three weeks after Kona.
“I think I’ll probably attack the race from the swim to halfway through the bike. If I’m feeling good, I’ll continue to race. If I’m not feeling 100 percent and have fatigue still in my body, I’ll back off a little bit and get to the finish line. I took 10 days completely off after Kona, and I don’t feel that great.”