"What an idiot!"
Like a lot of us, Mirinda Carfrae was trying to maintain an everyday routine in extremely strange and disorienting times. For her, that meant competing in an Ironman competition. This time, though, the race was virtual—part of the first-ever Ironman VR series, a five-kilometer run, a 90-kilometer bike and 21-kilometer run that stretched over the past weekend.
Carfrae, a world-champion triathlete, was well into the bike section of the race, and holding down a respectable second place. The competitors were all using smart bikes while broadcasting via Skype, which commentators used to check in during the race. Carfrae’s well-intentioned husband, fellow triathlete Tim O’Donnell, stood by to cheer her on, frequently appearing on the video feed, which was also broadcast on Facebook.
When Carfrae was about halfway through the leg, O’Donnell’s support included holding up a pair of Ironman trophies up to the camera while walking around her smart bike—you can see him show up around 1 hour and 29 minutes into the video. That’s when tragedy struck.
With commentators speculating that she was having connectivity problems, Carfrae held up a sign saying. “This is Tim’s fault.” Still pedaling and determined to finish, she explained,“He decided to bring my trophies in here for motivation, and when he walked around the back, he kicked out the plug. What an idiot!” (For the record, she was smiling while she said it.)
The snafu scotched her chances at a victory, but Carfrae kept riding. Later, she posted on her Instagram account, “Of all the things that could have gone wrong, TO kicking out the cord was definitely not on our radar.” All in all, though, she seems to have forgiven her husband’s clumsiness, and promises that when he races next week, she won’t pull out his cord.