Carrie Lester is returning to the Big Island to race for the first time since 2010. Since the fall of 2015 Lester has added several wins to her race resume including a sub-9 hour performance at Ironman Chattanooga and dominating win at Eagleman 70.3, where she crossed the line seven minutes head of second place. Lester also showed her race fitness at Challenge Roth this past summer by finishing runner-up to Daniela Ryf with a time of 8:42:13. Based on her last year of race results she looks ready to take on the 2016 Ironman World Championship this Saturday.
You had a great breakthrough race performance at Challenge Roth this summer- 2nd overall! How has that performance fueled your racing this year and what positive lessons did you learn to carry forward for Kona?
I had a very short preparation for Roth. So having a solid race there really just gave me the confidence in knowing I was capable of putting together some more solid performances coming off more solid training.
You are a well-rounded professional triathlete – a great swimmer, biker and runner. Will you stick with your race plan or push or hold back in any of the legs in Kona?
I don’t really see Kona as any different race (maybe this will be my downfall…haha) so I don’t plan to do anything different. I do think over biking will cost me a good run – so that’s about the only time I might try and hold back. A solid performance across all 3 disciplines should land me a good result and that’s what I am aiming for.
Besides being the Ironman World Championship, what/ how do you prepare differently for this Ironman compared to others? Are there more race tactics, etc…? Or do you prepare for this race the same as other Ironmans?
I am really trying to prepare for this race like any other. Managing expectations I think is extremely important and that’s about the only extra added pressure I am finding throughout the preparation.
Do you have any race day superstitions or special things you do before an Ironman or before Kona?
Before any Ironman I do like to find somewhere just to have a few moments of peace. After I have set my bike up and I’m ready to go, finding a few minutes to calm my mind and think about what lies ahead is a good way for me to start the day.
What do you feel like defines you as a strong professional female athlete? Are their specific thoughts or mantras that make you feel stronger on race day?
Having confidence in myself and how I have trained can really make or break me on race day. I know that if I have prepared well, and I am confident, healthy and strong, I am going to bring my best performance on race day. I don’t have to worry about race dynamics. Because no matter what I will be ready to handle anything race day throws at me.
Thank you for the interview and we look forward to watching you put together a solid race Saturday!
Follow Carrie Lester on Instagram at: @cazzlester
Interview by Mackenzie Madison
More Kona Countdown Q&As here.
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