Fourth’s the Sweetest: Chrissie Wellington Claims Glorious Ironman World Championship Title in Kona From Behind
It was all but over at the Ironman World Championship in Kona for Chrissie Wellington.
Oakley’s elite team Triathlete exited the water close to 10 minutes behind then-leader and fellow O team standout Julie Dibens. But every media personality, industry insider and die-hard fan had a common thought in the back of their minds. When Chrissie is on the course, don’t ever count her out.
And they were right. Big time.
Displaying just why she’s considered one of the premiere endurance athletes, Chrissy charged hard on the bike and blazed on the run to edge out defending Champion and fellow O athlete Mirinda Carfrae by less than three minutes, finishing in 8:55:08 for her fourth coveted Ironman World Championship Title.
With overwhelming emotion clearly displayed on her face as she crossed the finish in Downtown Kona, it was evident that an epic amount of stress, doubt and struggle had been lifted instantaneously from her shoulders.
No surprise. Because this past year for Chrissie, professionally, has been one of the most challenging of her life.
After an utterly shattering disappointment at last year’s Hawaii race for then three-time Champ Chrissie Wellington – bowing out due to a virus – this year was just as challenging in the months leading up to Kona.
Steadily moving into full form, another stroke of misfortune hit the British phenom two weeks ago. She suffered some significant injuries after falling off her bike during training in the United States.
And it weighed even more on her. Doubt was intensely showing on her face and in her speeches at the official press conference on Thursday.
But after coming from behind following an amazing performance from the leading pack in the women’s field – with another O athlete Julie Dibens leading some of the race with a phenomenal swim and bike split, followed by Caroline Steffen – the struggles were put to rest.
Redemption at its boldest.
“I really have to give credit to Rinny (Mirinda Carfrae) for pushing me all day out there, and this victory is especially sweet because there were times when I felt like maybe my body was going to give up on me,” she said, rocking her Commit performance eyewear. ‘And one more thing, I just want to say to my coach Dave Scott: I’ve just got two more and I’ll catch you up.’”
Congratulations Chrissie for reclaiming the title!