You might think that four-time world champion Mirinda Carfrae comes into Challenge Bahrain as a certainty for the podium, but after a busy spell post-Kona, the Aussie is simply getting ready for a “sufferfest.”
Triathlete.com: What has life been like in the weeks following Kona?
Carfrae: I feel great. It’s been two months now and that time has flown by. There has been a lot of travel, a lot of celebration and a lot of champagne has been drunk. But I’m happy. I’ve had an amazing year and I just keep counting my blessings.
Triathlete.com: Is it difficult to juggle demands after winning the Ironman World Championships?
Carfrae: Absolutely. But you can also choose what you want to allow into your schedule. Winning Kona, I like to take hold of every single opportunity that comes my way. But also that’s a race that I focus on all year long. It’s an emotional high and I like to take the time after that to let it soak in and have some downtime.
It’s not easy to get back into training and I let myself off the hook a little bit in that I haven’t been on a specific training plan for Challenge Bahrain. I don’t think that I could have done anyway because I chose to do a lot of travel and do some appearances. So I’m not really sure how this race will go—I think it might be a bit of a sufferfest but I figured it would be a great experience to race in Bahrain. The Challenge family always brings such an amazing experience and if it’s anything like I experienced in Roth it’ll be a winning day regardless of the outcome.
Triathlete.com: Given your preparation how do you attack this race?
Carfrae: I usually race a half all-out from the gun—you race it like an Olympic-distance race. That’s how competitive it is. There isn’t much pacing and I’m not much of a sprint athlete either so I don’t really have access to massive watts on the bike or a super fast swim. So I might have to pace a bit because of my fitness. But really I’m going to be trying to get through it as fast as possible and make it to the after party.
Triathlete.com: And if you do get your hands of the $100k how would you spend it?
Carfrae: We’re hoping to start building a house at the moment and any money we make will go straight into that project. But I’m not even thinking about it because it’s not really a possibility.