Mirinda Carfrae - Ironman Triathlon world champion
Episode 180 - Mirinda Carfrae - Ironman Triathlon world champion
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"The Greg Bennett Show"
In this episode of One Moment Longer with Greg Bennett, I am welcoming back a legend of the triathlon world, Mirinda Carfrae.
Mirinda (or 'Rinny') is a three-time Ironman World Champion, an Ironman 70.3 World Champion, and one of the most formidable athletes ever to compete. She's a professional triathlete who illustrates the mantra,
"Success comes to those who endure just one moment longer."
Rinny was one of the first interviews I did for this podcast three and a half years ago, in episode 6, February 2020.
Mirinda has recently made the tough decision to retire, and we'll be discussing this significant shift in her life, how she came to that decision, and what the process was like. We will explore her most memorable moments, discuss the highs and lows, and get a glimpse into some of her most epic workouts.
We’ll discuss the evolution of the sport, how technology has changed the game, and her thoughts on the future of triathlon. And, of course, what life looks like for her after professional racing.
She’s a great friend, and I’m excited to get this chance to catch up.
Originally from Australia, and now residing in Boulder, CO Mirinda is a one of the world’s most successful triathletes. Her 2007 70.3 World Championships win secured her ticket to the Ironman World Championships in Kona. In 2009 she set a course run record and finished 2nd in her first Kona appearance. She continued her dominance and went on to win three Ironman World Championships in 2010, 2013, and 2014. Her 2013 win included the third fastest marathon of the day including the men’s field. Her blistering run course record from 2014 still stands today (2:50:26). Mirinda is a threat at every race she enters with over 50 wins at major events throughout the world. Her Ironman 70.3 World Championship title and three Ironman World Titles and seven podium finishes in Kona in the span of a decade marks her as one the of the greatest triathletes of all time.
Growing up in Queensland, Australia, Mirinda Carfrae, widely known as “Rinny”, was a sporty child, with basketball her primary focus. At 5’ 3”, however, her true athletic potential remained untapped until a high school triathlon coach noticed her speed on the court and suggested she give multisport a go. At the age of 19 she competed in her first triathlon and shortly thereafter–with no prior background in swimming, cycling or running–made the 2001 Australian Junior Elite Team.
Rinny represented Australia at the ITU Triathlon World Championships from 2001-2005, twice earning silver medals (2002 & 2003) before turning her attention to long distance racing. A victory at the Nice Long Course Triathlon (2004) and a silver medal at the ITU Long Course World Championship (2005) were early indicators that endurance was her forte; a third-place podium finish (2006) and ultimately a world title at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship (2007) confirmed Rinny as one of the top talents on the non-draft racing circuit.
That victory was pivotal, not only as a precursor to Rinny’s numerous half iron-distance wins to that date, but also to punch her first ever entry ticket to the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, an honor she postponed until 2009. That October, as a wide-eyed Ironman rookie, Rinny stepped off the plane onto the Big Island and was quickly swept up in the race week frenzy, heralded as the next great hope for the title at triathlon’s “holy grail” despite having yet to prove her prowess at the distance.
But prove it she did, using her finely-honed foot speed to post a course run record and secure second place. The following year, Rinny’s constant drive to improve resulted in her first title as Ironman World Champion. In the years that followed, despite race day struggles that might derail a lesser athlete, Rinny never strayed from the podium steps in Kona, earning second (2011) and third (2012) before regaining her crown in 2013. In so doing she struck fear in the hearts of competitors both male and female, posting the third fastest marathon overall (2:50:38), a new run record enroute to scoring the women’s Kona course record in 8:52:14.
2014 was a year filled with exciting new adventures for Rinny. Her winter wedding (December 2013) to fellow triathlete and Ironman Champion Timothy O’Donnell marked the start of a thrilling new chapter in her personal life. Professionally, the reigning Ironman World Champion expanded her horizons to Europe, claiming victory against a highly competitive field at Germany’s iconic iron-distance race, Challenge Roth, and confirming that all eyes will be on her yet again in Kona.
9:06 - Winning Kona 3 times firmly places Mirinda at the top of the sport of Triathlon. Rinny & Greg recap her early career inspirations, and the journey to Triathlon through playing Basketball.
25:11 - Mirinda explains how she would split her year when competing professionally on the global stage and how it propelled her through defeats ... to the spectacular wins.
33:10 - Have a great and supportive team behind her, Rinny explains the power from having amazing and competitive training partners also within her regime to prepare for each event.
42:55 - Greg & Rinny discuss doping in the sport and how the testing program runs for professional athletes.
51:02 - Rinny shares her opinion on the state of triathlon currently.
52:56 - The Final Four:
What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
Which three people (non-family, living or dead) would you like to have dinner with?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
55:21 - Rapid Fire questions to wrap this episode.
What toughest race you've ever competed in?
Tim Tams or Vegemite on toast?
What's your favorite training destination?
If your life was a movie, who would you want to play you?
One book you would recommend?
If you could go back to any decade of your life, which one would it be and why?
Best Aussie slang word?
Favorite pizza topping?
If you were to enter a talent show, what would be your act?
What's your karaoke go-to song?
What decade of music is best?
1:02:35 - Interview concludes.
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