Last year’s runner-up finish, fuels Kahlefeldt
SUBIC — A bridesmaid finisher in last year’s tiff, Radka Kahlefeldt knows she’s up against a world-class athlete in defending champion Caroline Steffen.
Using the same strategy she had last year, the Czech hung on against Steffen, but learning her lessons, made her big push in the run course to top the 2017 Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 female pros category.
“I knew the run will decide,” she said as she finished the course in 4:22:13. “Last year, it was the opposite because she disappeared on the run. This year, I just ran and led the whole way.”
The two were neck-and-neck in the swim and bike courses before Kahlefeldt pulled away after making her move in the run course, finishing the track in 1:25:24, almost four minutes earlier than the Swiss powerhouse, who clocked in 1:29:01.
Despite getting ahead, Kahlefeldt shared she was never at ease knowing Steffen was her closest pursuer.
“Caroline is such a strong athlete so I had to push all the way to the finish because I didn’t know if she’s going to come and catch me,” she said.
Kahlefeldt only sensed victory after the run turnaround where she still enjoyed a hug gap between her and her trailer.
“I had a pretty good lead against Caroline and started to feel that I can win. It’s going to be a pity if I lost this so I’m incredibly happy that I won,” she said, adding that her training with her coach and husband Brad Kahlefeldt finally bore fruit.
Kahlefeldt also had nothing but high praise for Steffen.
“I know Caroline is a strong triathlete and incredible one. But I think I had a good training and I was in good shape so maybe this time, I’ll take the win and it happened,” she said. “This is really special for me.”
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