Mirinda Carfrae: I love to compete

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Mirinda Carfrae, three times Ironman world champion, and Timothy O’Donnell, ITU long distance world champion, has announced their start at FORD CHALLENGEPRAGUE in 2019. What brings them to Prague and what are their plans for the season?

What brings you to Prague?

We love traveling and racing in Europe. This was a perfect opportunity to engage with Challenger Tours and travel as a family to see the historic city of Prague. Tim is a history buff and keen to see the concentration camps and marvel at the architecture and dynamic city centre around the castles and rivers. To be able to race amongst such historic locations and experience the city with the support of a travel logistics company is a perfect setting for us as a family. We love racing Challenge and excited to experience a new city.

Have you ever been to Prague? What are your expectations?

We have never been to the Czech Republic. Experiencing a city for the first time is always exciting. We typically fly in and fly out of most races and really wanted to schedule the race so that we can enjoy the week by arriving early and then potentially staying a few extra days. We will be racing top end but plan to enjoy some great food and company with other athletes. I expect we will have a great time – especially with so many reviews from previous athletes that have raced Challenge Prague.

What is your goal for the race?

Our goal is always to race well with the intention and game face to win. We had a few races last year where we both won at the same location. It is now our new goal as we travel to most races as a family. Challenge Prague has attracted strong athletes since its inception a few years back. We are at race fitness this time of year and this will be the last race before we both get back to Boulder and start to focus on Kona Championships.

What are your other plans for the season?

I will be focused on racing more 70.3 and middle distance racing to dial in more speed as I am already qualified for Kona with my late Ironman race in December. Timothy will focus early in the season on getting qualified for Kona so that he can really focus on the build up to Kona starting in August.

It will be early 20 years you compete as a pro. How do you manage to still compete on such high level?

I’ve been racing since I was U23. I approached my career strategically and only began racing long course over the last half of my career. This has allowed be to stay uninjured and also build into each year stronger than the last. I did enjoy taking the year off with the birth of my daughter which was perfect timing after a solid streak of long-distance racing. I came back hungry and still love racing and getting the best of myself day in and day out.  I love the training and the travel and have always embraced the racing. I love to compete. That helps stay at the top of my game.

You also became parents recently, how did it change your life and training?

For both Tim and I it gave us purpose. To be racing and supporting our family with a sport we love has been powerful motivation. We definitely are more organised with our race schedules and our training day to day. We plan recovery and make the most of our time. Family Sundays are a priority for us now. New priorities are welcomed and there is nothing better than having Tim and Izzy at the finish line.

Will you bring Izzy to Prague? How do you manage during the race day? 

We will be bringing Izzy to Prague. We have brought her everywhere we have raced and are committed to traveling as a family. We are both racing professionally so we do have help when we travel and race. Our Nanny is an extension of our extended family and really enjoys the lifestyle and travel.

Other athletes interested in racing Challenge Prague can travel to the Czech Republic with you, tell us more about the offer.

We engaged with Bob and John at Challenger Tours and created a package that allows athletes and families to travel with a lot of the logistics sorted which is a huge bonus when traveling with a bike to a foreign country. We also wanted to be involved with a travel group that can join us for some training, sight-seeing and group meals. When we travel internationally to locations that are new there are a lot of things to consider like where to swim and when is the safest time or location to ride a bike. With our travel group we will have transport sorted for training or sightseeing and intimate opportunities to see the city. For more info please visit www.challengertoursinc.com.

Photo: Talbot Cox

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