Mahalo, Caroline! Silver at the Worlds in Hawaii
This is the story of a great champion: In a race that will go down in history as one of the most disputed ever, Caroline Steffen won the silver medal at the Ironman Hawaii.
After leading the race for most of its 9 hours and 16 minutes, Caroline had to let pass Leanda Cave shortly before the finish and lost the race by only one minute.
It speaks to Caroline’s strength that she can still fight for gold even when things go wrong. And things did go wrong. Some miles into the race, as Caroline was hammering away on the bike in the front group, she received a highly controversial drafting penalty – allegedly for riding to close to a male competitor that she was passing. The four minute penalty put Caroline in a position that she is not used to – in the chase pack. Caroline still managed to catch up and eventually ride away from her main competitors, but it was clear that this race would be decided on the run. And Caroline put on a very solid run, holding off Leanda Cave, Mirinda Carfrae and Mary-Beth Ellis (the later will start running on Clouds as of January 2013) with a smooth and fast run off the front. „I really enjoyed my Ons. I believe they give me an edge over the competiton, especially on the downhill sections where the extra cushioning allows me to run faster than in traditional shoes“, Caroline said. „I was surprised that I could hold my lead over the chasers, and my legs felt much better than last year.“ But this would be a race, where things went wrong: at the half marathon mark, Caroline started suffering from a bad stomach and diarrhea, and her strength started to slowly fade. When Leanda Cave caught up with her on top of Palani, „Xena“ almost ripped her heart out to stay with her for one kilometer, but eventually had to succumb. Despite the diarrhea, Caroline ran almost 10 minutes faster than last year. “I was very happy with my run“, Caroline said at the finish line. Had she hoped for more? Of course, but Caroline quickly overcame her disappointment. Dave Dellow, her boyfriend and fellow On ambassador had posted a very remarkable 9th place finish in his first start in Hawaii. When interviewed by Swiss TV, she smiled and said: “I love this race.“