Ironman Kona Champ Mirinda Carfrae on Victory

Mirinda wins
Chrissie Wellington decided not to compete in Ironman Kona this year due to illness. The night before, "I woke up several times literally drenched in sweat, my head pounding and feeling like my throat was closing," her website states.

The Brit dominated Kona for three consecutive years, and her absence this October opened up the women’s field to other major contenders. One of them, Mirinda Carfrae, came in second to Wellington last year, which happened to be the first time Carfrae’s ever competed in the race.

"Chrissie is still head and shoulders above. She’s an amazing athlete. Truly amazing. She’s set the bar high,” Carfrae told Matthew Dale of earlier this year. “But having said that, she’s only human. I think anything’s possible. I’m 29. I’m going to be in the sport another 10 years. Hopefully at some point I’ll wear her down."

She may not have had the chance to pit herself against Wellington for a rematch, but the Australian did come out on top in Kona 2010, clocking in at 8:58:36. Wellington came in at 8:54:02 last year. The 4.5-minute difference makes us wonder: What will happen next year, if these two compete again? Time will tell.

In the meantime, here’s Carfrae’s take on this year’s ultimate triathlon.

--Aileen Torres

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