ACTIVE.com: For Kona, do you feel like there's more pressure because you're a 3x World Champ, and reigning champ? Is it just part of the territory?
MC: I absolutely think it's part of the territory; in fact it's kind of an honor. The people look up to me and expect a lot from me, and I probably expect more from myself. Every year I go to Kona there's a lot of pressure, ever since my first year. People were looking to me be the next athlete to do well there, and six years later, I haven't really disappointed those who put faith in me back in 2009. Every year I go to the Big Island [Hawaii, Hawaii], there's a lot of pressure and a lot at stake, and quite honestly, I thrive on that pressure. I never thought I'd be the kind of person to rise to a big occasion, but really it gets me fired up, and it gets me excited. I'm usually--hopefully--able to get the best out of myself. I'm excited to go back to the Big Island, it's been very good to me these past few years and, hopefully, I can continue to race well there.
ACTIVE.com: Do you have anyone in particular who you have your eye on as your main competition this year?
MC: Well, Rachel Joyce and Caroline Steffen are solid and consistent every year. A surprise in Kona, the newcomer Daniela Ryf, is definitely going to be the one to watch this year. It was Daniela's first time last year and she raced very well, which was a surprise to me, so with another year of training under her belt and knowing the course now, she'll be even faster this year. We've been working pretty hard to make sure I can hopefully be right up there in the front.
ACTIVE.com: As you know, recently IRONMAN split a few of the pro men's and pro women's races. How do you feel about that, and what is the draw?
MC: I obviously applaud IRONMAN's actions in doing that. I think they've been taking a lot of flak in the past year and a half. Really it's just the pro women not really having a fair go at the event, in that we're going a few minutes behind the pro men, and not far in front of the age group men. Age group men get mixed up with the pro women, and the top pro women are faster than the tail end of the pro men's field. At races, we feel like we're wedged in between the two and drafting becomes an issue and so forth. I think a couple of races a year with a 'women's only' field will give us the opportunity to wear the No. 1 bib and be the first in the water and not worry so much about getting mixed up with other people's races. It'll give more of a spotlight on the pro women, too.
ACTIVE.com: Switching gears, how do you feel about the recent doping scandals in endurance sports, more specifically with Tom Danielson and the IAAF allegations?
MC: Honestly, to me, it's just disappointing. As a professional athlete, I'm proud to be a triathlete. It may be naive, but I feel like our sport is still pretty clean, and I think the reason for that is there's a lot less money in triathlon than cycling and track and field. It seems like every few days, you wake up and there's a new doping scandal -- and these athletes are role models for young athletes. To me, it's just disappointing and I'm hoping by catching more athletes doing the wrong thing, it will deter younger athletes coming through. I'm trying to reinforce you can win races clean, and it's done in our sport all the time. Generally, [doping] is a big disappointment, and I wish I didn't read that stuff.