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A Conversation With Chrissie: The Decision To Take Time Away

  • By Liz Hichens
  • Published Jan 17, 2012

Triathlete.com: Will you still make swim, bike and run a part of your daily routine?

Wellington: I absolutely love sport and beasting myself physically, so I fully intend to be doing something active every day, maybe just not with the structure and intensity that has characterized my life over the past five years!

Triathlete.com: Can we still expect to see you on the starting line of other (non-Ironman distance) races in 2012?

Wellington: I always crave new physical and mental challenges, so although I don’t plan on racing Ironman in 2012, I am definitely not totally closing the door on any type of competitive event, this year and in future. I just don’t have a definite plan on what form this might take (but rest assured that it won’t be gymnastics. I have the coordination and elegance of a baby giraffe!)

Triathlete.com: Can we expect to see you on the starting line of the Ironman World Championship at some point again in the future?

Wellington: Ask me the same question this time next year!

Triathlete.com: Have your sponsors been supportive of your decision?

Wellington: Honestly, my sponsors have been nothing short of amazing, both in the past five years and with the recent decision I have made. I am incredibly fortunate that the majority have said they will continue to support me in the months and years ahead. I really cannot thank them enough for this. As many know, I have signed long-term ambassadorial roles with TYR and Cannondale, and am really excited about the opportunity to invest more time and energy into promotion and product development with them, and the rest of my sponsors.

PHOTOS: Chrissie Wellington’s Inside Triathlon Photo Shoot

Triathlete.com: What are some of the charities you’ll be working with during your time away from Ironman?

Wellington: My desire to work a lot more actively with all of my chosen charities was a key reason for my decision to step back from full-time training and racing for a little while. I have an amazing opportunity to use my platform to raise funds and awareness for causes that are important to me, and simply felt that I couldn’t do as much as I wanted to do whilst also trying to be the best athlete I could be. The charitable work will focus on those that I am already actively supporting, such as Janes Appeal, the Blazeman Foundation for ALS, Girls Education Nepal and Challenged Athletes Foundation as well as helping to grow GOTRIbal.

I haven’t made any firm plans as to what this work might be yet, but might include organizing specific events (such as “Runs with Chrissie” or the dinner I hosted for members of GOTRIbal); promoting these organizations in the media; attending clinics, events, races and so forth; auctioning items of memorabilia, as well as working directly with some of the beneficiaries of these charities, as I did with the Challenged Athletes Foundation in San Diego last year. I am also fortunate to be able to use other projects (such as the recently launched motivation and training downloads I made with Audiofuel) as a vehicle to support worthwhile causes. The world truly is our oyster, and I really look forward to being able to see what is possible.

Triathlete.com: Can you give us any kind of sneak peek into what we can expect from your autobiography, A Life Without Limits?

Wellington: You can expect honesty, inspiration, encouragement, motivation, some advice and maybe an element of surprise too!

The autobiography has been a labour of love and I have invested so much time and energy into this project over the past few years. Of course I wanted to share my life story (and some training/racing advice) with people—the good, the bad, and the sometimes ugly—but I wanted to use it as a vehicle for conveying some really important messages, to inspire and encourage people to take a chance, to defy what’s possible and to will willing to look fear and adversity in the face. There are things in the book that people may not have known, for example my battles with eating and body image—but I hope my experiences can in some way help others suffering from these type of problems. I am incredibly proud of the book, and I hope that everyone enjoys reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it!

RELATED VIDEOS – Chrissie In Kona: The Post-Race Interview Series

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Liz Hichens

Liz Hichens

Liz Hichens is the Web Producer of Triathlete.com. She is an Ironman and marathon finisher and fan of all endurance sports.

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