Chrissie Wellington Leaves Ironman

Good news and bad news for endurance athletes and fans worldwide. 4-time Ironman World Champion, Chrissie Wellington is taking a break from swimming, cycling and running in Ironman competition in 2012 to focus on other pursuits.

The 13-time undefeated Ironman winner posted this on her twitter account:

Its not the end. I just want my life to be as rich, varied & full as possible – open to new opportunities, adventures & challenges :)

The good news for the men is not getting chick’d this season. The good news for the women is placing higher than second at an Ironman or Ironman 70.3 race in 2012. It also means fans will see a new Ironman World Champion crowned in Kona in October.


The bad news for fans is not witnessing one of the greatest endurance athletes on the planet doing what she does best, win races. Here’s what Chrissie posted in the ‘latest news’ section of her website about her decision:

“I’ve given absolutely everything to Ironman over the past five years. However, this year I’ve decided to take a break as I would like to spend more time focusing on other pursuits including dedicating more time to my chosen charities, the publication of my book and more active promotion of the sport in the UK, as well as giving myself the chance to explore and seize new opportunities within triathlon and outside. I feel that I wouldn’t be able to pursue all of these different goals whilst simultaneously dedicating the energy and time needed to compete in Ironman events and treat them with the respect and complete dedication they deserve.

The past five years have been absolutely incredible and I am extremely happy, proud and content with everything that I have achieved in the sport – topping it all off with the race of my life in Kona last year. I have always seen triathlon as a part of my life, rather than the be all and end all, and am looking forward to a little more variety and balance by pursuing other interests, as well as spending more time with my family and friends.

I am really excited about what the future holds and being able to spend more time around the sport without the commitment of full time ironman training and racing”.

The World Triathlon Corporation posted the news on their Ironman Facebook page soon after the news broke and the comments have not stopped.

John Micu Estill Shocking! At the top of her game too.

James Hutcheson Gives everyone else a chance!

Carly Vickers Its called getting a life lol!

Jen Casey Small Good for her! Follow your heart Chrissie!! Rock on :)

Greg King I do not think she will leave forever. She is to Ironman what Jordan was to basketball, only she is even better!

Michele Muehe Landry I’m sure she will be back down the road, but good for Chrissie for wanting to experience more in life. She’s amazing and will continue to do incredible things outside of Ironman and athletic events in general. She’s an inspiring, brave woman and what she’s doing takes guts!

Paul Brahim She came. She conquered. We’re all better because of her. All the best Chrissie! See you in 2013!

Wellington currently holds the record for the fastest Ironman time in Kona. She ran an 8:54:02 in 2009. It was her third consecutive Ironman World Championship at the time. She was unable to defend her title in 2010 due to an illness but in 2011 she set the ‘world’ record for the fastest Iron distance race at Challenge Roth in Germany. She did that by breaking her own world record from the year before, also at Challenge Roth. Wellington crossed the line as the first woman but also the fifth overall finisher in a time of 8:18:13 (Swim 49:49, Bike 4:40:39, Run 2:44:35).

Paula Newby-Fraser is the all-time greatest Ironman World Champion in history winning 8 times from 1986 to 1996. Natascha Badmann has 6 titles, Chrissie Wellington now has four. Sylviane Puntous, Erin Baker and Lori Bowden each have two. Find course information, history, race results and more on the Ironman World Championship official website.

Follow me on twitter @IMDaveErickson and see more than 500 original swim, bike, run and athlete interview videos on my Youtube Channel.

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