The champs speak after a big day at Ironman Western Australia

Terenzo Bozzone and Cameron Wurf dueled until the closing stages of the marathon, while Caroline Steffen flew to a new course record at Ironman Western Australia. Some thoughts from the champions.

| December 3, 2018 | PERSONALITY

In her first full-distance race since 2015, Caroline Steffen took Ironman Western Australia in record-setting time.

In her first full-distance race since 2015, Caroline Steffen took Ironman Western Australia in record-setting time.

Photo >Delly Carr

With files from Noel McMahon, media managar, Ironman Oceania

Caroline Steffen: Women's champion

“I got into Busselton on Wednesday, had my first swim and everything and I clicked with the place straight away. I think it is absolutely stunning and it is important to me to like the place where I am racing. I feel happy and confident. There aren’t too many spots in the world with such a great venue. I got a bit confused with all the U-Turns, but I loved running alongside the ocean. It is beautiful, with good roads and very safe. I loved the course and the swim was just stunning, absolutely stunning.”

“Being away from Ironman for so long I was a bit out of routine this morning and my mind was still on 70.3 racing until half way through when I thought ‘Oh it is quite a bit longer.’ It was hard but I felt so happy out there and I loved the course. I just focused on what I could do and to be the best I could be on the day. Sometimes it is enough to win, sometimes not and today it was enough to win and also set a new course record. So I am over the moon, very happy.”

“The last Ironman I did was Kona 2015 and, in my eyes, I had an absolute shocker. I’d had enough, it was too hard and my body wouldn’t manage it anymore, so I focused on 70.3 for a few years and then I had enough of that too. So, I had a baby break and my coach (Brett Sutton) reckoned I could go really fast, so we gave it a shot today and it looks like he is right again. I will definitely take the Kona spot, but we will see what happens, I promised my little boy that it was the last day of work for mum and I will have a family Christmas and more time for him now.”

Terenzo Bozzone makes it three in a row at Ironman Western Australia.

Terenzo Bozzone makes it three in a row at Ironman Western Australia.

Photo >Delly Carr

Terenzo Bozzone: Men's champion

“I am a little emotional at the moment,” Bozzone said after the race. “Going into Ironman 70.3 Western Sydney last week I had no expectations but when that race turned out quite well, it was quite hard not to start to put expectations on myself. So, I just tried to go back through the processes and remind myself that I am just stoked to be here and able to race. There were some really tough patches out there. I just had to back myself and back that my experience over the distance was going to be good enough. With Cam up the road on the bike I did get carried away a little bit. I thought I would just ride slightly higher power than usual and I paid for it quite big in the last hour of the bike.”

“In the first ten km of the marathon Cam and I were running dead even splits and I was starting to freak out, but then the competitive side of me kicked in," Bozzone continued. "I had the thought of my kids back home and I wanted to give everything. I caught Cam at about 30km on the run and tried to make a bit of a move, but the wind just took the sting out of my legs. I waited for him and he pulled up to me at the far turn around. I thought I am either going to go now and try and make a move or I will go backwards very quickly. I tried to use the tailwind to open up a bit of a lead and thankfully Cam let me go. Then I just had to stay tough and keep reminding myself why I am here and that I am lucky to be doing it.

"I do enjoy coming to Busso and to win three titles and put my mark on the race is very special to me. I love the run course here. Coming through town eight times on the run is very special. It is very unlike Kona where you get stuck out on the Queen K and the Energy Lab without a lot of support. Everyone out here kept lifting my spirit and even though I am not an Aussie they definitely embrace me as their own. They give me a lot of encouragement and support, and I am very thankful for that."

Cameron Wurf: Men's runner-up

“For me it was probably one of the best races I have ever done. I had a great swim, a good solid bike and one of my best runs. I talked up the bike to put the guys off what was my real goals were, to have a great swim and run. I really wanted to qualify for Kona and I needed to be in the top two, so that was my number one priority.”

“I wanted to put the guys away as early as possible in the race and I was able to do that with everyone but Terenzo. You race to win, but Terenzo is a great champion and you have to be on your very best to have a chance of beating him. This is the closest I have come to someone of his quality, so it is a huge step for me and it was great to be out there duking it out in the finish.”

“I have had a great year. I have done eight [full-distance] races, finished them all and was on the podium in all but two. Even those were both top ten finishes. I am in the second year of a project of trying to win in Hawaii and It has been a great progression on last year. I have qualified for Kona now, so I will have good Christmas and then focus on a long term approach to preparing for the Ironman World Champs in October,” he said.

Barbara Riveros: Women's runner-up

“My first impressions of Ironman is that it is really mental and really tough. I only had four weeks of Ironman training for this, so I had a really honest day out there. I swam with Caroline and the bike was solo and I controlled myself and was very pleased with it. I paid a bit on the run but overall I am pretty happy with my performance.”

“I have never done a marathon before today, so I just kept in the moment. Off the bike, my back was really tight, so I was slowly trying to loosen it up. At half way I thought ‘Oh my god, I have another 21 km to go,’ but I didn’t die too much on the run and I kept it as steady as I could. I was happy to keep in the moment do all my nutrition right. I have never been to Western Australia before, so it is really cool to be here and learn about this side of Australia.”