Four time Ironman Champion and author Chrissie Wellington announced on her blog this morning that she is retiring from Ironman distance racing.
Wellington is the first British athlete to hold the Ironman Triathlon World Championship, and remains undefeated over the Ironman distance. She is the only triathlete, male or female, to have won the World Championship less than a year after turning professional, an achievement which the British Triathlon Federation described as "a remarkable feat, deemed to be a near impossible task for any athlete racing as a rookie at their first Ironman World Championships."
Earlier this year, we were fortunate enough to sit down with Wellington and talk to her about her book In Her Own Words, having read the book and talking to the champ, the retirement from Ironman distance racing isn’t that much of a surprise. Wellington’s entire life has been an entire series of goal setting and adventures, now it’s on to the next chapter.
Wellington says, "My passion for the sport hasn’t waned, but my passion for new experiences and new challenges is what is now burning the most brightly. Hence, I have got to the point where I know that it is right for me to retire from professional ironman distance racing. Needless to say this decision has not come easy, but deep in my heart I know it is the right thing for me to do. My future will, of course, involve sport and triathlon – but it will no longer be the axis around which my entire life revolves."
As you read the many blogs and Facebook posts, remember Wellington is retiring from Ironman distance racing. Not triathlon. Why not? As many of you know, who have attempted this distance race, it is a massive commitment, from you, your loved ones, even your employer has to understand. Ironman is a physical and emotional time suck. Constant training and dedication, day after day, year after year, is hard. Even the best need a break, to have a beer, sleep in late, dance all night, eat a sloppy burger, make love and drink a little too much.
"In the past year, since I won the World Ironman Championships, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being able to dedicate myself to other aspects of my life, including charity work, public speaking, policy development, and of course publishing and promoting my autobiography, ‘A Life Without Limits." Wellington shares on her web page.
While Wllington might be missed in Kona, it may open up time for shorter races in our area like the Lifetime Chicago Triathlon, 70.3 Racine or even Bigfoot! Why not, for a champion like Wellington, ripping up Lake Shore Drive would be a walk in the park, compared 140.3. Can you imagine the opportunity to race along Chrissie Wellington in Chicago? The race would sell out in minutes!
Wellington has a few months to make up her mind for what’s next, she left her fans with a few final thoughts, for now. “I will continue to act as an ambassador for a number of my sponsors. Their support for me has been incredible.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank every single person that has been part of my ironman journey, and wish you all the very best for the 2013 season and beyond.”