One of the most decorated Ironman 70.3 competitors in history, Mel is coming back to the big island after undergoing surgery for an injury that forced her to drop out of Kona last year. The former 70.3 champion is more determined than ever this year to make her mark, and she’s healthy and racing well enough this season to be dangerous. We wanted to know what was going on her head, so we sat down with her and had a quick chat. It’s worth noting this year that Mel is also planning on racing in a Rudy Project helmet (in previous years she’s just been in our eyewear) for the first time ever.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
What is on your mind as you prepare for Kona?
I’ve lost my marbles.
What are three of your travel essentials?
Phone, watch, and sunnies.
What do you see as your biggest strength going into Kona?
I’m not gonna f**k this up again! I want it more than anyone else. 2017 I had a DNF due to a kinked iliac artery. 2016 a DNS due to a fractured sacrum and 2015 a DNS due to a dislocated rib and torn pec. 4 painful surgeries this year has increased my pain threshold and my determination.
What was the last gift you gave someone?
What makes Kona different from any other race?
There’s a world title on the line.
What is your favorite Rudy Project piece of equipment?
What do you love about the triathlon community?
The dorkiness! Where else can you wear compression socks to the mall and not get laughed at?
What would make this a perfect season for you?
Three world titles (ITU LD, 70.3, IM).
How do you like to spend a day off?
Massage! Walking along the river and having a coffee at a nice cafe with my husband.