The IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship women's race on March 22 will be a flashback to 2012's inaugural event as defending champion Caroline Steffen and current IRONMAN World Champion Mirinda Carfrae go head to head on Australia soil for the first time since that day.
In 2012 Steffen came out on top claiming the first of her two titles in Melbourne, while Carfrae managed to run her way into third.
"I feel that the IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship is my race. Every pro likes to pick one race to call their own. I do that with Melbourne. I love the city, love the support I get from all the spectators and I love the coffee. As a huge coffee lover that's very important," she said.
The last time she raced on home soil Carfrae had one IRONMAN World Championship win to her name, she returns as a three time champion having added wins in 2013 and 2014 to her 2010 win.
"I'm looking forward to racing again at home. Winning an Australian IRONMAN title is not something I've done yet, so I'd love to add one to my resume," she said.
Steffen has found herself on the podium every year in Melbourne, only missing the top spot when she finished third in 2013, the Swiss athlete, who is based on the Sunshine Coast , feels strongly that the course is one that suits her.
"I love the rough swim in Frankston, the fast ride on EastLink and the "point to point" marathon," she said.
"Back in my professional cycling days, I spent a lot of time in Black Rock (Melbourne) riding up and down the Beach Road with the professional team I was part of. Coming back after all these years and running a marathon on the same road feels like coming home."
Two of the best female athletes in the world, Carfrae and Steffen, won't have it all their own way with a strong field of women assembled, including two-time IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion Melissa Hauschildt.
Hauschildt, the current IRONMAN Australia champion, is one for one in her IRONMAN career.
"I'm starting to get really excited about racing IRONMAN Melbourne. It will only be my second full IRONMAN but it almost feels like my first. When I raced IRONMAN Australia last year I only decided to do it three weeks out from the race and had just come off a small break. Even though I won there this time I hope to be better prepared," she said.
Former ITU stars Australian Annabel Luxford, who is making her IRONMAN debut and American Laura Bennett, will also be in the mix. They will be joined on the start line by German Maureen Hufe who finished second at last year's IRONMAN Western Australia and the ever consistent Dutchwoman Yvonne Van Vlerken.
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The 2015 IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship Melbourne event, is proudly supported by the Victorian State Government and Major sponsors Toyota and ASICS.
Courtesy Ironman Asia-Pacific