Why do you choose to race in Kona ?
I would love to win a world championship title in Kona that is my one dream before I retire. Obviously this year, I am uncertain as to whether I will be able to race. I crashed on September 9th and had surgery to fix my should joint and plate my broken clavicle on September 12th.
How was your year with the KPR ?
It was great ! I think I am currently in 1st place. I only raced four times in 2013 due to an early season injury, dog attack, and my crash in Ironman France, but I managed to win all four of my races.
What do you think about KPR ?
I think the KPR is a great system, but it would be great if they would add a series prize purse to reward the athletes that are loyal to racing Ironman and 70.3 branded events. This would make the KPR more exciting as the athletes would not only be battling to make it to Kona but also for a nice pay-day that is always helpful in our sport in case something goes wrong during the World Championships.
When will you arrive in Kona ?
I was planning to arrive October 1st, but I have to see my Doctor about my surgery that date. I think I will arrive now around October 5th.
What experience do you have in Kona ( number of participations, best place…) ? I have raced twice in Kona a 15th in 2011 and 5th in 2012.
How do you feel just a few days before ?
Resting and taper are tough as you might feel amazing one day then awful the next. I try not to worry about how I feel and just get my planned workouts done and rest as much as possible.
What is the most difficult in this race ?
I think the course is actually quite tame if the wind isn’t blowing hard. The real challenge is the competition. This is the one race where the entire field of men and women face is stacked with all the top athletes in their best form ready to race faster than ever.
What is your goal this year in Kona ?
My goal before my crash and surgery was to try to win. Now, I don’t know if I will be able to race. But if I am capable of racing, I will do my best to be among the top women.
Do you plan something for the race day ?
I am not sure what this question is asking.
Who do you think will be on the podium the 12th october (men and women) ?
This is a very tough questions as there are at least ten men and ten women in Kona who are all capable of reaching the podium on their best day.
For the men, I was very impressed with Freddy Van Lierde in France. So I am going to pick top three : Kienle, Lierde, Raelert but not in any particular order. It is also hard to overlook Craig Alexander and I would love to see Tim O’Donnell in the top three bringing the US a podium.
For the women, I think in 2012 it was Caroline Steffen’s race to lose. This year she will be again in top three and with her I expect to see Rachel Joyce, if she is healthy, Meredith Kessler, who is flying fast under the radar, and Mirinda Carfrae.