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Who is Corinne Abraham..?!
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Monday 25th March 2013


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So, who is Corinne Abraham?

Following her brilliant victory at the Ironman Asia Pacific Championships, Melbourne on Sunday, you could be excused for thinking in some quarters that Corinne had simply appeared out of thin air, unknown to the triathlon community.

Perhaps that is the case to the wider world, but we feel here at Tri247 that we've been on something of a journey with Corinne, following her triathlon progress almost from the very start - and well before we (or perhaps, even she?!) knew she had any thoughts of ever being a professional triathlete.

Here is a look back through some key milestones on that journey.

(All images ©www.robholdenphotography.com)


Cowman Middle Distance - 4th July 2010

I remember this race well, because I was there! As well as watching the Cowman, I also raced the accompanying Sprint Triathlon that morning... which happens to be the last triathlon I ever took part in! (I will remedy that soon). An unknown name to us at the time, Corinne finished second that day to Ironman UK and Challenge Henley winner Yvette Grice. After losing significant time to Grice in the swim, Abraham went on to finish just one minute and 22 seconds behind Yvette.

Ironman Regensburg - 1st August 2010

Cowman was to be a warm up for Corinne's first attempt at an Ironman, the inaugural event in Regensburg, Germany. Still racing as an Age Group athlete, Corinne took third place overall with the win going to 2012 Kona fourth place finisher Sonja Tajsich. 9:41:21 first time out was pretty impressive - and meant a date in Kona in October.

Ironman World Championship - October 2010

In the lead up to Kona 2010, Corinne contributed to our Kona Diaries series.

Corinne Abraham ©Rob Holden

Her race in Kona was solid (10th in AG f30-34, 10:09:02), but reporting on that performance to Tri247 HERE, she said " I just don't feel that I raced to my potential on Saturday. With time I'll go through my preparation and the race in more detail, looking at what went well, pull out all of the places where I can pull back the minutes and the seconds, and learn from the experience."

It also provided us with the first glimpse of her future plans: "without a doubt it has confirmed that I will be training and racing as a professional triathlete next year."

Corinne Abraham ©Rob Holden

Interview - February 2011

I first interviewed Corinne over two years ago at the annual TCR Show at Sandown Park. Having run 1:20:31 that morning at the Wokingham Half Marathon, I spoke to Corinne about her introduction to the sport and plans for the year. With an introduction into cycling via the Race Across America (as you do!), and a background in Judo, it was clear that Corinne didn't come into triathlon with pre-conceived ideas or limitations on what she could achieve, and plans for the rest of 2011 included producing solid performances at Ironman Texas and Ironman Wales. As we were later to find, the best laid plans don't always work out...

Ironman Texas 2011 - DNF. Ironman Wales 2011 - DNF

A fifth place at Ironman 70.3 Antwerp in July couldn't hide the fact that 2011 was disappointing. Ok, it was more than that.

Pos Men Women
1st Bart Aernouts (BEL) 3:45:37 Sofie Goos (BEL) 4:21:24
2nd Axel Zeebroek (BEL) 3:48:25 Sophie De Groote (BEL) 4:22:40
3rd Marcus Fachbach (GER) 3:54:31 Natascha Badmann (SUI) 4:26:44
4th Romain Guillame (FRA) 3:55:12 Michelle Vesterby (DEN) 4:27:38
5th Sean Donnelly (GER) 3:55:41 Corinne Abraham (GBR) 4:29:23

Her two big goals of the year both ended long before the finish line. A Welsh athlete, Corinne was hoping for a great result and Kona points at Ironman Wales and, like Texas, while she did at least make it on to the run course, it was another injury-impacted DNF early into the marathon. Having gone 'all in' on training full-time for 2011 and making an impact, was living the dream turning into a nightmare? As I was about to find out, Corinne is made of strong - and extremely positive - stuff. She still believed, and intended to prove it in 2012.

Interview - April 2012

Shortly after racing Ironman 70.3 Texas in April 2012 (17th), I interviewed Corinne again about her 2012 season plans and that race in Texas. "could do better!" was her assessment of a solid, but not earth shattering result - but that still wasn't going to shake the self belief of Miss Abraham. Despite all of the setbacks as a professional triathlete - including a prolapsed lumbar disc, she said of her decision to compete as a full-time professional "it is a decision that I'm happy with and I've not struggled with it."

Was the motivation still strong? Absolutely: "I am driven by the chance to make the most of this opportunity. The possibility of being the best that I can be at something? I think that is so exciting and it is rare in life that we can have the chance to concentrate solely on one pursuit and become as excellent or brilliant at that as we possibly can." It wouldn't be long before that potential started to show...

©RobHoldenPhotography.com
www.RobHoldenPhotography.com)

Ironman Texas - 19th May 2012

Returning to the site of a bad race can be a difficult choice, but for 2012 Corinne opted to start her Ironman campaign in Texas once again. A huge PB and fourth place followed, and it is no wonder that I titled our post-race feature and interview with Corinne 'Abraham arrives...' She said "I'm happy with the race as it stands but I'm confident that there is far more to follow."

"I take strength from confidence that others demonstrate in me, such as the willingness of my sponsors to support me and the faith that they must also have in my potential to perform. But more than anything, I take confidence from the training and work that I am doing, the data, the numbers and how my mind and body feels and how they are morphing me into becoming a better athlete!"

Pos Men Women
1st Jordan Rapp (USA) 8:10:44 Mary Beth Ellis (USA) 8:54:58
2nd Justin Daerr (USA) 8:22:15 Caitlin Snow (USA) 9:01:32
3rd Matthias Hecht (SUI) 8:22:58 Amy Marsh (USA) 9:04:00
4th Jozsef Major (HUN) 8:27:19 Corinne Abraham (GBR) 9:18:39
5th Brandon Marsh (USA) 8:30:18 Charisa Wernick (USA) 9:27:43

Next (Ironman) stop, Frankfurt.

Ironman European Championships - 8th July 2012

Frankfurt would be a step up from Texas; Regional Championship status, 4000 Kona qualifying points and bigger prize money. It was also a step up in position too, taking third place on the podium. Corinne reported on her race for us HERE, saying "It was an incredible day from start to finish. Tough, but that's racing, and it was all the more incredible for it." Another solid marathon (3:08:14) was evidence that Corinne could certainly hold strong in the final discipline of Ironman racing.

Pos Men Women
1st Marino Vanhoenacker (BEL) 8:03:31 Caroline Steffen (SUI) 8:52:33
2nd Sebastian Kienle (GER) 8:09:55 Anja Beranek (GER) 9:05:41
3rd Clemente Alonso-McKernan (ESP) 8:!4:04 Corinne Abraham (GER) 9:21:03
4th Andreas Raelert (GER) 8:17:36 Susan Dietrich (GER) 9:22:07
5th Jan Raphael (GER) 8:18:17 Sofie Goos (BEL) 9:28:03

©www.RobHoldenPhotography.com

Ironman 70.3 Miami - 28th October 2012

The final push for Corinne's 2012 season would be a U.S. double of 70.3 Miami followed by Ironman Arizona. Fifth place in Miami was a very solid result - but the takeaway was arguably the 1:20:08 closing half marathon, more than four minutes faster than anyone else, including Ironman World Champion Leanda Cave. Was it all starting to come together for Corinne?

Pos Men Women
1st Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) 3:42:17 Leanda Cave (GBR) 4:07:27
2nd Jan Van Berkel (NED) 3:43:52 Lisa Hütthaler (AUT) 4:08:48
3rd Horst Reichel (GER) 3:44:14 Margaret Shapiro (USA) 4:09:47
4th James Cunnama (RSA) 3:45:27 Lisa Mensink (CAN) 4:14:04
5th Nila Frommhold (GER) 3:46:11 Corinne Abraham (GBR) 4:14:04

Ironman Arizona - 18th November 2012

"A podium finish in this quality of field will be a tough ask - but Corinne is certainly capable of the PB performance it will take to achieve it." was my pre-race prediction ahead of Arizona, and Corinne delivered on that to secure another Ironman podium finish. After a year to forget in 2011, Corinne Abraham was proving to be a rising star in 2012. Could she build on that in 2013?

Pos Male Female
1 Nils Frommhold (GER) 8:03:13 Linsey Corbin (USA) 9:01:41
2 Paul Matthews (USA) 8:04:58 Meredith Kessler (USA) 9:06:41
3 T J Tollakson (USA) 8:07:36 Corinne Abraham (GBR) 9:15:10
4 Tyler Butterfield (USA) 8:14:41 Sara Gross (CAN) 9:18:04
5 Jarmo Hast (FIN) 8:16:09 Mirjam Weerd (NED) 9:24:27

©www.robholdenphotography.com - Corinne, it has been turbo-turbo-turbo for me through  the winter

Interview - March 2013

Last week I spoke to Corinne in the lead up to Ironman Melbourne, her winter training, 2012 and plans for 2013 HERE.

" 2012 was kind of the year I'd hoped that I'd have in 2011!" she told me, forecasting for Mellbourne "I expect to bike and run strongly - hopefully with the best!"Well, she was the best - in both disciplines... riding her Trek Speed Concept bike (profiled HERE) to a blistering 4:42:09 180km - and then adding a 2:56 marathon on to that for good measure. 16 minutes later, Yvonne Van Vlerken took second.

Corinne Abraham's Trek Speed Concept ©www.robholdenphotography.com

Ironman Asia Pacific Championships - 24th March 2013

'Awesome Abraham' was the headline - because it was.

Pos Women
1st Corinne Abraham (GBR) 8:10:56
2nd Yvonne Van Vlerken (NED) 8:26:40
3rd Caroline Steffen (SUI) 8:31:22
4th Natascha Badmann (SUI) 8:34:37
5th Gina Crawford (NZL) 8:37:23

So there you go, an overnight success in four years...


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