Linsey Corbin chats on the heels of her victory at Ironman Austria, wherein she turned in the fastest Ironman time by an American female.
On the heels of her recent victory at Ironman Austria, wherein she conquered a long list of competitive feats along with claiming the top podium spot, I caught up with pro Linsey Corbin to hear about the event that earned her major bragging rights and left her beaming from ear to ear.
Triathlete.com: Congratulations on your win in Austria! Let’s tally up all the milestones you achieved with your performance:
- The fastest Ironman time by an American female [8:42:42]
- A new course record
- Your second sub-nine Ironman finish [Corbin’s first was at Ironman Arizona in 2011 when she went 8:54:33]
- PR’s across the board in all three disciplines [53:02 swim, 4:47:02 bike, 2:56:52 run]
- A repeat race victory [Corbin also won Ironman Austria in 2012]
- Your second Ironman win this season [Corbin also won Ironman Los Cabos]
When did you realize the extent of your achievement, and did you have the goals of the course record, a sub-nine finish and the fastest American time in mind as you were racing?
Corbin: When you are racing everything is very “in the moment,” so the reality of my performance took a bit to soak in. I don’t think it really sunk in fully until the day after the race. And I keep having these moments of: Pinch me! Was that real? I actually was a bit shocked in my post-race interviews, so I didn’t appear that over the moon. I think I was super tired!
I knew the record was 8:43 as Mary Beth Ellis won the race and set the record in 2011. It was one of those ideas you throw around as a big dreamy goal, but leading into the race I didn’t really think it was achievable for me. However, I did want to break the nine-hour mark and I really wanted to break the three-hour marathon as I have been close on several occasions–eight times I have run 3:02-3:05.
Triathlete.com: Your finish was epic! Obviously anyone winning an Ironman is going to be pretty excited, but you looked off the charts ecstatic. There was the cowboy hat, a fist-pump, a massive smile, hopping and skipping around in the finish chute–you were stoked! Describe how the finish felt to you.
Corbin: I’m glad I looked happy–I was! In 2012 when I won, it was crazy hot–100 degrees–and Erika Csomor pushed me to incredible limits. I had nothing in the tank at the end of the race. Everyone had told me how amazing the finish line celebration at Austria would be. Unfortunately, in 2012 I don’t even remember the finish. I was certain I would have to be hauled off on a stretcher! This year, I wanted to ensure I was “with it” enough to soak up the amazing finish line experience and hopefully be in a position to celebrate a great performance. Europe sure knows how to throw a finish line party–look at Frankfurt, Roth, Austria and Nice–and you have to experience it to believe it. Plus, the beer shower is extra incentive!
Triathlete.com: I watched the live feed and the flower ceremony afterward. They put a huge wreath around your neck and handed you a giant beer stein and a bunch of flowers. Was it difficult to juggle all that, especially so soon after you had stopped racing?
Corbin: I was in a pretty good place physically at the finish. The cooler weather conditions helped. So no need to juggle–just celebrate. And mmmm, beer!
Triathlete.com: You started working with a new coach [Jesse Kropelnicki] following Kona last year. Although it can take time to get into a groove with a new coach and a new style of training, obviously your work with him is paying off. What are a couple of key things that you’ve focused on together?
Corbin: 1. Getting me to slow down. My easier sessions are stupid easy. Nobody believes it when I tell them I run 10-minute miles, but I do.
2. Getting me to go harder. My hard sessions are stupid hard. I often complete them alone on a trainer so I can crank up the music and nobody can hear me grunting, cursing or wanting to vomit.
3. Increasing the amount of strength training–in the gym with weights, swimming with a band only and riding over-gear–to make me durable enough to handle the training required for Ironman racing.
4. We have turned the dials on a few things from a nutrition standpoint, which has aided in my recovery process.
Triathlete.com: In light of the fact that tomorrow is the Fourth of July, how does the theme of independence tie into triathlon for you?
Corbin: Well, I really like a good BBQ! But really, I just feel thankful to live somewhere where I have the opportunity to have an unconventional career path as a female professional athlete. Having experienced racing overseas in other countries it makes me really proud of who I am and where I am from. When I crossed the finish line at Ironman Austria they were blaring Tom Petty’s “She’s An American Girl.” That’s pretty darn cool!
Triathlete.com: What are your plans for the rest of your time in Europe–and what do you like best over there: the chocolate, the baked goods or the beer?
Corbin: We are taking a trip to Italy. I told Chris I’d like to eat pizza and gelato and crush espresso until I turn blue in the face. Let’s see if I can make it happen! I plan on taking a wee bit of a break and hitting the reset button before I turn my attention towards Kona preparations.