Melbourne, AustraliaÂ (April 15, 2014) â€“ Two time IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion Melissa Hauschildt has chosen Australia’s most enduring Ironman event to make her debut at the distance.
After much speculation the Australian has finally silenced the question she is frequently asked at this time of year. When are you moving up to Ironman? Answer, â€œI’m doing the Toyota IRONMAN Australia on May 4.â€
â€œEverybody constantly asks me when I’ll do my first Ironman,â€ said Hauschildt.
â€œThis time of the year, I usually have a few extra weeks ‘to play with’ in my schedule before the US season really picks up later on. So, while I’ve got these few weeks up my sleeve, I thought this could be a good chance to tick it off and see what all the fuss is about,â€ she said.
Since exploding onto the triathlon scene in 2010 Hauschildt has well and truly left her mark, putting together a body of work that someone who has spent half a lifetime in the sport would be proud of. She’s achieved more in three years than many do in a career.
The 31-year-old fought back from challenging injuries in 2012 to prove unstoppable in 2013. She bagged 10 endurance-distance wins, including the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Henderson, Nevada. In 14 races covering distances from Olympic too long, she was never off the podium, including the top spot at the ITU Long Distance World Championship in France.
It was those injuries in 2012 that delayed Hauschildt’s step up to Ironman, but with those now behind her the time is right for her to unleash her racing style on the Ironman world.
â€œThe timing has worked out well and it’s the closest Ironman to home,â€ said Hauschildt.
â€œThis time of year I can hopefully carry through some of the fitness I had from Abu Dhabi – with its longer swim and bike, and I will also be able to take plenty of time to recover well after the race without affecting my US season later on the year,â€ she said.
The tough Port Macquarie bike course will play to Hauschildt’s strength.
â€œI like the idea of a tough bike course. I just wish the run course was really hilly too. I always find hills are much easier than the flat when you have to run for such a long time,â€ she said.
Not one to ponder on the big decisions, the idea just â€˜popped’ into her thoughts a few days ago with no real adaption to her training regime considered.
â€œMy training hasn’t changed. The thought of racing IRONMAN Australia only popped into my mind a few days ago.
â€œI had a two week running break after Abu Dhabi so if I knew I was going to race an Ironman in early May I may not have taken the time off. It’s a bit late to change too much now, I will try to add in a 2 hour run instead of my normal 90 min long run,â€ she quipped.
The unassuming Aussie remains optimistic about the outcomes of her Ironman debut.
â€œI’m not sure how the race will pan out. I’ve never run further than 30k, so I’m looking forward to pushing myself further than ever before and seeing what it feels like,â€ she said.
Depending on how her race pans out at the Toyota IRONMAN Australia event the focus still remains squarely on the defence of her IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship title in Mont-Tremblant,Â QuÃ©bec, Canada on 7 September, 2014.
â€œ70.3 World Champs will probably still be my main goal for this year. If I can get through this Ironman it will at least give me the opportunity to make my ownÂ decisionÂ later in the year between ITU Long Course World Champs or Ironman World Champs.
â€œI just want to validate early, just in case I choose to go down the Kona path this year.â€
ToyotaÂ IRONMAN Australia, Port Macquarie will be held on Sunday, May 4, 2014.
For further event details:Â www.ironmanaustralia.com.
The 226km race will take place in Port Macquarie and the surrounding regions of Camden Haven. The course will include a 3.8km swim in the Hastings River, 180km bike from the city centre extending along the stunning coast line followed by a 42.2km run to the Toyota IRONMAN Australia finish line, located at Town Green.
Photo credit: Delly Carr/IRONMAN