Steffen returns to old stamping ground and secures three-peat
CAROLINE Steffen celebrated a homecoming of sorts at Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast, when she won the race for the third time, in the region she lived in for seven years.
The Swiss racer, who now lives in New South Wales, produced a determined effort amid the wet to stop the clock in 4hr05min43sec, just 35 sec ahead of Annabel Luxford, with Hannah Wells almost 4min behind.
“That course really suits me. I love that hill (at Alexandra Headland) in the run,” she said.
“I love it here. There’s so many people here, a whole network of seven years and coming back seeing them all again ... it’s awesome.”
The 39-year-old is in the midst of a comeback after welcoming son Xander to the world eight months ago. It was her third race back.
Her first one, four months after Xander arrived, was a welcome hit-out. She then finished second at 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship in Cebu.
But the multiple Ironman World Championships place-getter stamped her return via the Sunshine Coast. “I was very happy with Cebu and I think that one (at Mooloolaba) I stepped up again,” she said.
“I feel really strong but not quite speedy yet.
“It’s all about baby steps,” she said with a laugh.
“It took me eight months to get sorted but I’m in a good spot now and have qualified for Nice.”
Steffen said her approach to racing had changed and she had a new perspective.
“It’s different than before. It was all about winning,” she said. “Now, if I win it’s a bonus. It’s the cherry on top.”