italia-triathlon

Italiatriathlon.it has talked with Chrissie Wellington, busy and concentrated on completing her preparation for the Ironman final in the Hawaii.. There is no need of any words to introduce the 2x Ironman World Champion and iron distance world record holder, Chrissie introduces herself by her sports and personal successes.

Chrissie told us she was happy that the Italian community was interested in her and asked to give her best wishes to all the Italian thriathletes!

Here is the interview:

We know that you are very busy and concentrated for the Ironman finale at Kona. Could you say that the entire season is built around and towards this race?

Although Kona is very important to me, I want to be in the best shape and try my hardest in all of the key races I do, so this year I focused on IM Australia, Roth and of course, Kona!

You have achieved another great success this year, breaking the women’s IM distance world record at Roth. How important was that moment for you?

Winning the race and enjoying every minute of the experience was the most important thing for me, and to break the record at the same time just made it even more special! Of course, I am so happy and proud to have my name etched in the triathlon history books. By breaking records I hope to show that women are a force to be reckoned with, that we can get faster and stronger, and raise the bar for future athletes to aspire to. But to know deep inside that I have given it everything is the most important thing. Luckily for me in Roth I was able to enjoy the victory, thank the spectators and break the record too! I was really happy because I could share the moment with my friends and family who travelled to the UK to watch me.

3.You raced and won both at Roth and Kona, two important finale races of the two most important international triathlon series. What are the main differences between them, concerning courses, emotions, difficulties and atmosphere?

Kona is iconic. It is where triathlon began, the place where the very best long distance triathletes meet and fight for the World Ironman Championship crown – the most important title in our sport, and of course the deep history, media and sponsor interest and unique Hawaiian culture gives it a very special atmosphere, allure and significance. The Kona course itself is not especially difficult, however the conditions – the heat and the wind – are what makes it one of the most challenging places to race anywhere in the world. But that is what it is all about, and that’s what excites me!

At Roth the atmosphere is one of the best in the world. The crowd support is phenomenal, and this makes the race very very special. Both of these races hold a very special place in my heart and memory – at Kona I won the world championships and at Roth I broke the world record!

4.You are definitely the best ever female triathlete in the world, and what makes the headlines is not your claiming a victory, but your not arriving the first. How do you live this constant pressure of expecting from you always the best in every single race?

I don’t think I am the best female triathlete – but I might be one of the best long course triathletes! And I haven’t won every race I have ever done! The media and the public might expect me to, but I know that that is not realistic. The key is that I learn from each and every race and use those lessons to improve and grow as an athlete.

To know that I am one of the best long course athletes in the world has brought me so much joy and heaps of fantastic opportunities – but yes, it can be daunting too! Being World Ironman Champion has brought more commitments and pressures – not to mention expectations, both those I put on myself and those that others have for me.

The Hawaii crown is only as heavy as you let it be though. I think that the best way to deal with the pressure is to see everything as a positive. I have won Hawaii twice, which is more than I ever could have dreamed of. Yes Kona is the big stage. But I try and keep everything in perspective, and remember how approached the race two years ago – as a naïve rookie who didn’t know anything. That naivety was a blessing, and I always reflect on that and make sure that I don’t get caught up in the hype that surrounds the race.

I am confident and feel strong. I trust in my mind and in my body, and in the preparation I have done. I know the course, I know what it takes to win – and most importantly I KNOW how it feels to win, and I crave that feeling each and every day! I will have my family and friends there to support me, and most importantly I love being there on the Big Island. It’s hot, humid, tough and it HURTS! I have the target on my back, and instead of letting it crush me I thrive on it, and will enjoy every moment of defending the crown!

Kona is closer and closer. Will your schedule training be intensified?

No, consistency is key – I keep the training the same. All the hard work was done over the summer. The final few weeks are just putting the finishing touches to the machine!

It was unexpected that you parted ways from your coach Simon Lessing, choosing to be self-coached. What are the reasons for such a decision?

I wanted to empower myself and take total control of my own programme and development. And I like learning new things and I embrace change – this is part of what makes life so interesting and exciting!

Can we state that maybe you have no rivals but yourself?

No! This is definitely not true!!! The women’s pro field is the deepest and strongest it has ever been, and I will be pushed to the limit by many athletes. I think my biggest rivals are Bek Keat, Mirinda Carfrae, Catriona Morrison, Tereza Macel, Yvonne Van Vlerken, Sandra Wallenhorst…but there are many others who could surprise us all!

What do you think you would have done if you hadn’t become a professional triathlete?

I haven’t always been a triathlete! I have my undergraduate and masters degrees, I have worked as a policy advisor on international development for the UK government, I have worked for an NGO in Nepal, I have travelled around the world for two years, and now I am a triathlete!!! My life has taken many exciting twists and turns, with new exciting journeys and adventures.

Now I have the opportunity to combine my two passions – sport and development work. As a result of my triathlon achievements I have the platform that I have always dreamed of to achieve my mission, and bring about positive change. That’s partially why winning is so important to me. Of course I am a fierce competitor, and I love to work hard and fight for every victory – but through every victory I have more of an opportunity.. To speak about things I am passionate about, to inspire and encourage others, to lead by example, be a role model for change, to raise the bar for women in sport, to raise awareness about important issues, including a women’s empowerment organisation called GOTRIBAL (www.gotribalnow.com) and also setting up my own NGO in the UK in the future.

You are involved in the development of GOTRIbal, an organization aimed at empowering women and promoting triathlon around the world. How difficult is it for a woman to be a triathlete and above all to succeed in competing in long distance events where body and mind are sorely tried?

We all have our own personal barriers, be they mental or physical. We are all nervous about trying new things and giving ourselves bigger mountains to climb. We all worry about the ‘what if’s’ – it doesn’t matter if we are male or female. But in reality there are no limits to what you can achieve, in sport and outside. Only the limits you place on yourself.

But we cannot do it alone – and I really think that women especially benefit from a support network that can help them overcome the hurdles that they face, encourage them to take up the sport and achieve their goals. And that is why I am so proud and excited to be involved in the development of GOTRIBAL (www.gotribalnow.com). It’s a global organisation which aims to encourage and help people around the world, particularly women, raise their own bar that little bit higher – providing them with support so they can grow, flourish and become the athletes that they never thought they could be. And like a snowball the ‘pay it forward’ support process will roll around the world, growing and building as it gathers energy and momentum: building bridges, breaking down barriers, inspiring confidence, encouraging participation and enabling people to realise their dreams. No matter who they are.

So I would encourage all women reading this to look at the website, become a member of GOTRIBAL, create Italian TRIBES, and spread the love of triathlon to everyone around the world!

Have you planned your after Kona holidays yet?

Not yet, but I am really looking forward to going travelling, and spending time with my family and friends and drinking Italian wine! – nothing related to swim, bike and run!

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