|Superwomen Wellington ...with her Superman. Picture from Everyman Tri|
There must be a collective sigh of relief amongst Professional male triathletes that Chrissie Wellington has announced her retirement from the sport of Ironman racing.
I say this in jest but only half jest as she has dominated the sport like no other female athlete and shows that endurance sports can be an equaling force to the usual unequal results between men and women.
I have mixed feelings.She has been part of the Ironman landscape since I came into this sport and she was at the 2007 Aviva 70.3 ,(only my second half) then an unknown just after winning her first Ironman event ,IM Korea 2007 .She went on to win her first World Championships later in October 2007. She holds the fastest time for the distance in Roth in 2010 at 8.18 h .
I read her book , A life without Limits as I lay in hospital in March this year . Memorable for all the wrong reasons.She is one of my heroes no doubt for her tenacity and determination. On the other hand , the feelings are mixed for the fact she is retiring . She has conquered all she has seen and there is just no spark to train for another Ironman.She has more challenges that get the stomach juices flowing , Ironman and the Endurance lifestyle isn't one of them.
One of the better interviews on her retirement at Ironman.com:
“I remember saying to Brett (Sutton, her coach from 2007 to 2008) when I first started, “I want to achieve success in five years. I don’t’ want to be in the sport for a very long time. For me it wasn’t a lifestyle choice … No disrespect to anyone who views it as such, but for me it was how good can I be at this sport and I answered that question.”