Triathlete Crowley aiming for Hawaii again

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Sarah Crowley has one eye on Kona as she passes up next week's historic world triathlon championships.

The Australian triathlon star will be the headline act at Sunday's Ironman Australia race in the northern NSW coastal town of Port Macquarie.

Crowley, 39, has decided to stay in Australia and also plans to race June's Cairns Ironman, where she is a former winner.

It is all based on being ready for triathlon's most famous race, the Hawaiian Ironman world championships on October 6 at Kona, where Crowley has twice finished third.

That means foregoing next week's rescheduled and relocated Ironman-distance world championships in St George, Utah.

Hawaii was called off for two years because of COVID-19 and so two world Ironman triathlon championships will be held this year - St George next week and then the traditional Kona race in early October.

St George will be the first time the Ironman world title has been held outside Hawaii.

"It was calculated. I want to be good for October," Crowley told AAP.

"In my view, the world championship is in Hawaii.

"I'm happy to give up a top eight or something (at St George) for a better performance come October."

No Australian has won the Hawaii Ironman since three-time champion Mirinda Carfrae in 2014 and Crowley looks the best chance to end that drought, with her third-placed finishes in 2017 and '19.

The Ironman triathlon is a 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42.2km marathon run.

Staying at home also means Crowley can have more stability in her preparations after a hectic 18 months.

She went overseas in mid-2020 and struggled for training consistency while based in Arizona, before finally returning to her Brisbane home on Christmas Day last year.

"It was very disjointed and difficult. I really did learn to appreciate that being at home matters for stability and everything else," she said.

"Just those little things - having your stuff set up all the time in the one place ... and not knowing when you'd be back, not being in the home training environment.

"Really, it's trying to take control of my season.

"This is my way of taking the steps I need to progress the levels of training. This is the best path."

Crowley is racing Ironman Australia for the first time.

Australians Josh Amberger, Tim Van Berkel and Tim Reed will be the top names in the men's elite field on Sunday.

Reed won in Port Macquarie in 2016 and is a two-time runner up.

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