From the website of the Abu Dhabi Triathlon Team. With a 5th and a 6th place Rachel has already shown how to race well. However, she can feel the pressure, if only her own, that comes with marching towards the podium. She has proved already that she can win tough races like the Ironman Lanzarote. This year, after a perfect preparation without any major problems she will be at the start line under completely different conditions than in 2010. Read more about what Rachel thinks about the upcoming race here…
You have been training in Tucson with Faris and Swen. How was it?
The training camp in Tuscon was great: lots of good training and we had a nice atmosphere in the house. The heat there definitely prepared me for Kona – in fact it felt cool here when I got off the plane in comparison. Tuscon has a great set up for training. I’d love to go back in fact and try out some more routes and running trails. A highlight was climbing Mount Lemmon….twice and the cookie on top.
The Ironman World Championships are in just a few days. How are you feeling?
I’m feeling really excited. The atmosphere in Kona is special: a combination of all the history that comes with island and the race, and the buzz that surrounds a world championship. I know a lot can happen on the day but I’ll be approaching it as with any other race, and trying to swim, bike and run as fast as I can.
2009 – 6th, 2010 – 5th, 2011 – 4th?
I would love that linear pattern to continue. I feel in shape and my preparation has been good but am under no illusions: there are more than ten girls out there capable of going top ten, so I’ll have to perform at my best to get amongst the top positions.
Compared to last year will it be different in Kona this year?
It will be different as there will be a lot fewer starters on Saturday although I’m not sure if that’ll change the dynamic of the women’s race. My approach is much the same though. The quality in the women’s face is improving all the time so I know I will have to raise my game too if I want to compete.
Has anything changed in your preparation this year?
Well, last year was very much a reactionary year. The injury I sustained in March during the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon meant I didn’t race very much, and was really going into Kona blind. I had no idea of my form. Luckily it paid off for me in 2010 as I guess I was fresh after a lack of racing. This year my preparation has been more smooth….not completely smooth, but smoother! I had some good performances in the early part of the season and took my first Ironman title at Lanzarote. Of course I take some confidence from this but I’m by no means complacent. I always anticipate that my competitors are improving too!
Will Kona be your last race of the season?
I don’t think Kona will be my last race. I haven’t raced too much during August and September so feel like I have a race or two left in me for 2011 before I put my feet up for a couple of weeks. I am looking to race at the ITU Long Course champs in Vegas and in Ironman Cozumel at the end of November. THEN I will definitely be booking in some sofa time!