Rinny Kona’s Queen Again
Australia’s Mirinda Carfrae stepped onto the Big Island of Hawaii with all eyes in the triathlon world focused squarely on her. Rinny, being the reigning Ironman® World Champion, was about to face one of the toughest fields of women that this race has seen. Even under this type of pressure, Carfrae was congenial, confident and gracious, giving her time to promote World Bicycle Relief and to share an autograph with her fans.
On race day she swam well though exited the water at T1 with some work to do. Her race bike is a Felt IA, outfitted on the day with SRAM RED 22, including Aero R2C 1190 shifters, and a Red 22 Quarq Power Meter in 165mm crank length and 55-42 chain rings, paired to an 11-28 cassette in the back.
Rinny chose this combination knowing that she had 22 usable gears for the over 5,000 feet of climbing on this tough course, but still needing the large gears for the fast downhill sections. Rinny’s race wheels of choice were a Zipp 404 Firestrike Carbon Clincher on the front and an 808 Firestrike Carbon Clincher on the rear.
She rode well on the day, but the winds on the course were some of the worst seen in recent years, and girls up front put the pressure on early and never let it off. As she rolled into T2, Carfrae had over a 14-minute deficit to the leaders, including the 2013 runner up. Again, all eyes in the triathlon world were focused squarely on her. Rinny, being known as one of the very best runners that this sport has ever seen, knew it was time to go to work, and that is exactly what she did. Not only did she erase the 14:32 deficit that she faced starting the run, but she did so by breaking her own run course record, laying down a 2:50:26 marathon, which was the fifth fastest on the day including the male pros.
All photos by BrakeThrough Media