Caroline Steffen took on her hometown standard distance race at the Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival and not only won it by a five-minute margin but also finished 9th overall.

The “Swiss Miss” based out of the Sunshine Coast exited the choppy 1.5-kilometer ocean swim in third place before dominating on the non-drafting bike leg, completing the 40-kilometer course in just a little over an hour. She then proceeded to log the race’s best 10-kilometer run split to win in 2 hours, 3 minutes and 15 seconds.

“I’m totally over the moon and really happy with that race,” she said. “It’s always great to win a race in Mooloolaba, my hometown, in front of all my friends and I had an amazing day. I was really happy with my swim, bike and run.”

This victory comes on the heels of her triumph at the Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay, where she took the clear lead only on the run leg, not being able to execute her initial race strategy of riding hard.

“It’s been a really big week. Lots of travel Monday and Tuesday, got sick and was a bit of a struggle half way through the week. I think my body just needed a couple days to recover. I felt really strong yesterday in my last sessions and I was looking forward to racing hard today.”

Under coaching from Daniel Plews of High Performance Sport New Zealand, Steffen has tweaked her training to focus on the Ironman 70.3 World Championship happening in September in Mooloolaba. “We’ve focused a bit more on the intensity and we’ve backed off the hours a little bit. It’s really hard to adjust but it’s working really well.

“To have the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship here in my backyard will be amazing. I am really looking forward to it and it’s all about that race.”