Triathlon Australia honours Ironman icons

December 11, 2022 06:32 PM AEDT | By AAPNEWS
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Three-time Hawaiian Ironman world champions Craig Alexander and Mirinda Carfrae are the latest members of Triathlon Australia's hall of fame.

Alexander and Carfrae were the standouts in the golden era for Australia at triathlon's most famous race, when a triathlete from this country won every year from 2006-14.

Carfrae and Chris McCormack, a two-time winner at Hawaii, made it an Australian double in 2010.

Alexander and Carfrae held the course record at Kona on Hawaii's main island and she still holds the women's run course record.

Alexander won in 2008-09 and '11, while Carfrae also went back-to-back in 2013-14.

At 38 in '11, he remains the oldest men's champion at Kona.

Belgian Luc Van Lierde's course record of eight hours four minutes eight seconds had stood since 1996 and Alexander broke it in 2011 with his 8:03:56.

German Patrick Lange lowered it to 8:01:40 in 2017 and the last three Hawaiian winners have gone under eight hours.

Carfrae was renowned for a withering marathon run leg, routinely making up big deficits after the bike leg and mowing down her rivals.

She set the women's record of 8:52:14 in 2013 and her 2:50: 26 to win her last title a year later remains the fastest women's run split.

Alexander also won two 70.3 - or half-Ironman - world titles and 12 national titles.

"But there was something about Kona that appealed to my personality," he said.

"To race there was a privilege, let alone finishing on the podium, it was amazing just to be there and carry on the legacy of other Australians who qualified to race there ... it's a special race.

"I say to people who are not familiar with the sport - it's like Wimbledon to a tennis player - it has the history and everything that goes with an iconic event."

Carfrae lives in the United States with her husband, American triathlete Tim O'Donnell and their two children.

They are back in her home state of Queensland for the first time in two years and were able to attend Sunday night's Triathlon Australia awards night on the Gold Coast.

"You have hopes and dreams and I dreamt of winning Kona which came along early in my Ironman career in my second race and then it was I want to win multiple times ... and it has been an amazing journey," she said.

"I am most proud of the way I carried myself throughout my career. I always raced with integrity; I never took any short cuts and just gave my everything."

The Ironman triathlon is a 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42.2km marathon run, with Hawaii also notorious for its brutal heat, humidity and scorching trade winds during the bike leg.


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