Race winners Mirinda Carfrae and Timo Bracht, and participants Sister Madonna Buder and Challenge Family CEO Walchshöfer look back on a historic day at Challenge Roth.
[Summing up her Challenge Roth rookie experience]
“I think the words of the day are: exceeded expectations! The race itself, the crowds the support, the massive finish line, and also my performance. I didn’t really know what to expect going into this race. I’ve done a couple races–I did the team at Challenge Atlantic City and then the half at Challenge St. Andrews and that’s not my typical build up for a big race. So I didn’t feel that I was giving myself the best opportunity to race well here, but I also didn’t want to have that same pressure as I put on myself leading into Kona. And at the end of the day I felt really good. I mean Siri’s program for me is like magic. She does such a good job of getting me ready for race day and making sure that I get one hundred percent out of whatever I have. I think that there are so many athletes that fall short because they’re getting maybe seventy percent out of what they have. Even if I’m only at eighty percent, I get one hundred percent of that eighty percent, which I think goes a long way. Yeah, I’m just over the moon! I’m kind of surprised at how big this race is. I mean I thought: Challenge Roth–it’s a great race, a bucket list race over in Europe. But I’m surprised by how many people really pay attention to this event. It’s not quite at the level of Kona but it’s right up there, and it deserves to be, because this event is amazing.”
[On whether she’ll return to defend her title next year]
“I don’t know exactly. I’ll definitely be back at some point, and Timothy [O’Donnell] wants to do this race as well, so whether I’m back supporting him or whether I’m back racing next year or it might be the year after–I’m not sure yet. It also depends whether Rachel is racing. I will not be racing her in a full outside of Kona again. Two times a year–there’s no way! [Laughing] I ran past her on the run and I said, ‘I’m never racing you outside Kona again!’ And she said, ‘Yep, that’s a done deal.’ I said, ‘Shake on it!’ And I put my hand down and she shook my hand as I was running past. I mean we’re really good friends and I love to see Rachel do well–let’s just share the wealth! And she’s not the only fantastic athlete–there’s Caroline [Steffen], obviously, and Yvonne [Van Vlerken] and many other women that could just come and knock us both out of the top. But for right now it just felt like it was Kona all over again.”