She has been dubbed the greatest female endurance athlete in history. She blew everyone away in 2007, her first year as a professional triathlete, by winning the Ironman World Championships in Kona. It was her first attempt. Chrissie Wellington went on to win every single race. She has never been beaten at the Iron distance, and holds 3 records relating to the distance: Overall World Record, Ironman World Championships course record, and official World Record for Ironman Branded Iron Distance triathlons.
After her 4th win in Kona, Chrissie took a sort of leave of absence from racing to focus on her charities, public speaking and relax. In her words, “I’m happy. I’ve got nothing to prove to anyone anymore – not even to myself.”
Athletes all over the world look up to her. They admire her no quit attitude and her ongoing pursuit of being the champion. Her competitors fear her. But now what?
On 12/3/12 Chrissie announced her retirement from Iron Distance Racing. I believe the endurance world, athletes from all walks of life are shocked. Some sad they will never see their idol, role model defying all odds and crushing records over and over.
I for one find it, and her journey, nothing short of amazing. After reading her personal blog entry, I’m overwhelmed with her words. How many of us feel the same way. Always looking for that perfect day; the day where we finally reach our goals. the day where we realize we have nothing to prove to anyone else, but most importantly to ourselves. If you want to read it for yourself, it’s HERE.
I suppose what I personally take from all of this, from seeing possibly the greatest endurance athlete of our time do the unthinkable, is that there really are no limits to what we can achieve. I can only hope and dream that someday I will feel that sense of accomplishment and whole heartedly satisfied with my achievements.
Until then, I keep racing…
“As and athlete I always sought ‘the perfect race’ – the true meaning of ‘sporting success’. That race within myself where I dug to the depths mentally and physically, and that hard-fought race with my competitors. The Ironman World Championships in 2011 was the icing on the cake for me as an athlete. It was my ‘perfect race’. I finally felt worthy of being called a champion.” –Chrissie Wellington