Some day, you’ll be able to tell your grandkids that you raced triathlon in the era of Chrissie Wellington. Though her stint in the sport was brief—just five years as a pro—she had an indelible influence on triathlon and its future. When it comes to what women could achieve in endurance sports, she shattered people’s conceptions of “possible.” Through her giant smile and daring “live without limits” attitude, she has inspired thousands before announcing her retirement from the sport in late 2012—more than a year after her final race. While her contribution to the sport is impossible to concisely capture, her race course achievements can be summarized in four numbers.
FOUR Ironman World Championship titles (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011)
13 iron-distance victories
8:18:13 Women’s iron-distance world record, set at Challenge Roth
ZERO iron-distance losses
This article was originally published in the March/April 2013 issue of Inside Triathlon magazine.