Triathlon great Mirinda Carfrae, three-time winner of the IRONMAN World Championship at Kona and also a 70.3 World Champion, has announced her retirement from the sport.
The Australian collected an incredible seven Kona podiums between 2009 and 2016, standing on the top step in 2010, 2013 and 2014.
She won virtually every other title that mattered, with her style of racing often seeing her cut down her rivals on the run – underlined by six sub-three-hour marathons among those seven top three placings in Hawaii.
‘I guess it’s been coming’
Revealing the news on the YouTube channel she shares with husband and fellow pro Tim O’Donnell, she said: “One big announcement I have to make is that I will be officially retiring from professional racing.
“I guess it’s been coming. The last year racing, my heart wasn’t really fully in it anymore and I didn’t know if I’d be continuing racing this year until after Kona.
“I raced Santa Cruz [last September, when second to Sarah Crowley] and we were kind of wondering if that would be my last race but I didn’t know.
“I had some solid results and my training was going decently enough but I was really only committing 17-20 hours a week because of the stage of my life, having dedicated two decades already to triathlon and having one-year-old Finn and four-and-a-half-year-old Izzy. I just felt they were pulling me, my heart wanted to spend more time with them. I couldn’t be a shell of a human which is basically what you are when you are training full time!
“I headed off to Kona to support Tim and really wanted to see how I’d feel in that environment given that was really the biggest goal in my whole world for so long. To be there as a spectator, the race week was fantastic which was another hint that ‘okay I’m over this’.
“And then the women’s race on the Thursday… there was a moment of ‘this was amazing but I’m okay with it being over’. It was a nice way to come to the realisation that I’m good, I’m happy, I’ve had a wonderful career, I’m retiring because I want to spend more time with my family and I don’t feel I have any more to give to triathlon as a professional athlete.”
Few in the sport can match the legacy Carfrae will leave but the good news is she’ll be staying involved – and potentially helping the next generation as she rounded off the announcement by adding: “I’ve come to the realisation that I want to be a coach.”