Mirinda Carfrae, aka Rinny, is a triathlete from Brisbane, Australia. Carfrae started sports at an early age, playing basketball and a variety of other school sports. In 2000, at the age of 19, she competed in her first triathlon. Even though she did not have a background in swimming, running, or biking, she experienced success in 2001 when she made the Australian Junior Elite Team. Carfrae then went on to represent Australia at the ITU Triathlon World Championships from 2001 through till 2005 earning silver medals in 2002 and 2003. More recently Carfrae has focused on the longer distances. She won the Nice Long Course triathlon in 2004 and got silver at the ITU Long Course World Championships in Denmark in 2005.
With the introduction of the Ironman 70.3 series in 2006, Carfrae claimed the St Croix and Baja titles early in the year, going on to win a bronze at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in the same year. In 2007, Mirinda came second in 4 Half Ironman distance triathlons before winning the 2007 Ironman 70.3 World Championships in world record time.
Carfrae’s most notable performances came at the Ironman World Championships in 2010 and 2013 where she won the biggest title in triathlon. Her time of 8:52 in 2013 was a new women’s course record.
Q & A
Can you describe a mid season training week?
A normal week will consist of 4 bike rides, 5 sometimes 6 (but only if my coach Siri makes me) swims, and 5 or 6 runs. Oh and about 15 seconds of stretching… I do get regular massage though.
Do you consider yourself a disciplined in terms of training and nutrition?
Yeah I am pretty disciplined, but I think anyone at this level in this sport has to be. My coach and I make sure we are doing everything we could possibly do in order to get faster each year. One thing I am not so disciplined on is my nutrition, I do eat pretty healthy but if I want an ice cream or treat then will go straight down the shop to get one. I don’t worry too much about my weight unless I am preparing for a big race, and then I just have to make sure I am at race weight and if not then it usually doesn’t take much to get there.
How do you typically spend the off-season?
I take 2 to 3 weeks off, and when I say that I mean no physical activity. I just spend my time hangin’ out at the beach, visiting friends or just sitting on the couch eating all the yummy but bad Aussie foods that I miss when I am in the US. There could also be some late nights out in town running amuck with my best pal Bella (Luxford).
When did you first start training in life? Where and why?
I didn’t know it at the time but I think I started training as soon as I could walk, keeping up with my brothers, withstanding their beatings, being a tom boy on the farm with my dad. I don’t know why I was so competitive I think it might have something to do with being a middle child in a big family.
One sport wasn’t enough? What got your into the multi-sport arena?
My one sport was actually basketball, I didn’t see triathlon as a multi-sport, just an amazing challenge that happened to need 3 skill sets.
When did you turn pro?
I held a pro card as a junior in around 2002 well before I felt like a pro. Didn’t really feel like a pro athlete until around 2005.
What are the events, wins, memories that stand out most throughout your career so far?
One event that stands out most to me was what I would call my breakthrough performance. It was at the U/23 World Champs in Cancun, Mexico. I’d only been in the sport for a couple of years and although I had trained very hard, I wasn’t really expected to be much of a factor. I placed 2nd that day outrunning the former junior World Champion. That race really showed me what I was capable of.
What is your best discipline and why?
Running for sure. Running just came to me the easiest, it felt the most natural to me.
If you had a discipline that needed work, which would it be and why?
All aspects need work, but I am really focusing on improving my cycling leg this year.
Your favorite distance?
Super sprint… But I also love racing in the Ironman in Kona.
Preferred race day outfit …
My KSwiss race kit.
If there is one thing that people in the industry would recognize you by, what would that be?
No idea –I hope they recognize my by my friendly personality.
Who was your inspiration growing up?
Within your sport:
Outside your sport:
What has driven you to work super hard and rise up beyond mediocrity?
I guess just the desire to be the best athlete I can possibly be.
Are you a rebel? Why or why not?
No not really. I like to do the right thing most of the time so I wouldn’t call myself a rebel.
What is your favorite course?
Hawaii Ironman World Champs
What is the venue that you purely dread and why?
Any race with super cold weather or water. It’s never a good time to race in cold temperatures when you can’t feel your hands or feet.
Finish this sentence: “Oakley is ________”
a great brand that I am pumped to be associated with.
If you weren’t killing it in the tri scene, what would you be doing for a living?
What is the best song to practice to?
Eminem – "Lose Yourself" or Foo Fighters – "Pretender"
People would be super surprised if they knew that you…
played the saxophone throughout school. Shocking I know…
Don’t care so long as it’s with my man T.O.
Vacation Spot: Phuket, Thailand
Candy: Allens Lollies
Sport (Besides your own): Basketball
Music Genre: Pop/R&B
Movie: The Lion King
One word association:
Fun: finish line