Steffen second at Auckland tri
MOOLOOLABA-based Caroline Steffen says she still some work to do but should be ready to defend her Ironman Melbourne title in March after claiming second place in Ironman 70.3 Auckland yesterday.
The 34-year-old Swiss athlete finished six minutes behind Brisbane's Anabel Luxford (4 hours 19.18) with American Mereditch Kessler a further four minutes adrift.
"I have only been back training for three weeks and I am just back from a big training camp so I am a bit tired at the moment," Steffen said after the event.
"It is a big race and I got second, I got some points for Las Vegas and Hy Vee, some money in the pocket and a medal around my neck, so that is all right.
"I think this race showed me I am heading in the right direction and if I keep working hard, and do the race at Abu Dhabi, I should be ready for Melbourne.
"I want to defend my title so there is a lot of work to do until then, but I am looking forward to it."
Steffen is the reigning ITU long distance world champion and she was runner-up at last year's coveted Ironman World Championship, the Hawaii Ironman at Kona.
In yesterday's men's race at Auckland, Sydneysider Christian Kemp ran away from New Zealand favourite Bevan Docherty 5km out from the finish to win the biggest race of his career in a time of 3:56.02. He beat Docherty by 34 seconds, with Taranaki's Clark Ellice finishing third.