One of the Greatest

Ironman Winner

The news came as a bit of a shock after some of her interviews at Kona this year but either way, Chrissie Wellington has now retired from pro Ironman racing. She may not have beaten Paula Newby-Fraser at the most Ironman Kona wins, but there can be no argument that Chrissie Wellington will go down as one of the greatest Ironman triathletes ever. Never beaten at the full Ironman distance in any event, she won on her first appearance at Kona (unheard of) and proceeded to be the first woman down Ali’i Drive 4 years out of 5. I haven’t read her book “A Life Without limits” but it is certainly on my list to read this Christmas. Thank god someone told her to try a triathlon. She has been a great ambassador to the sport and has shown that people can enjoy racing. Just watch some clips of her, she is constantly smiling even when racing. A joy to watch. I do not know her personally, but she seems like a nice girl. AND she epitomises how enjoyable sport is!

Some might be questioning why she has retired when she dominated a sport and didn’t look to be floundering. Why not go for the all time record? Well 5 years in such a demanding sport is a long time. yes, Chris McCormack has done it for nearly 2 decades but it was just different for Chrissie. We should respect her wishes and wish her luck in the future. When you know, you just know. She has stated that her motivation as a triathlete has not decreased, but has simply been superceded by other interests. Which is a good way to put it. She may not be as famous as Paula Radcliffe or Jessica Ennis but with triathlon growing globally, she can use her influence to do a lot of good!

So Chrissie Wellington leaves the sport after clocking 4 of the fastest female Ironman times in history, winning in Kona on debut, starting Ironman’s near her 30′s, coming back from a deflated tyre with no gas cannister, winning in Kona after crashing her bike with a torn pectoral muscle, the list goes on and on. I will be following her next step with great anticipation.

Now all the male pros can worry a little less about being ‘chicked’!


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