PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa — Chrissie Wellington has rewritten the record book once again, this time at the Ironman South Africa. The three-time Ironman world champion put on yet another impressive record-breaking performance by shattering the Ironman South Africa bike, run and course records, while smacking out the fastest Ironman time recorded by a women in an Ironman race, ever.
The 34-year-old exited the water in 51:40, which left her 2:45 in arrears to swim leader Amanda Stevens (45:55) and only 0:34 back to her fellow compatriot, Rachel Joyce (51:06), as she hit the beach.
Wellington made quick work of eliminating her deficit and disposed the leading pair in the opening kilometers of the bike. In typical Wellington fashion, her lead on the bike increased with every stroke of her pedals. While stamping out an Ironman South Africa bike course record of 4:45:23, previously held by Natasha Badmann, Wellington managed to build up an insurmountable 16:51 advantage over her closest rival, Rachel Joyce, and greater leads over Belinda Granger, Stevens and Diana Riesler as they entered the bike-run transition.
As if Wellington did not inflict enough damage on the women’s field on the bike, she set out on a blistering pace on the three-lap run course in Port Elizabeth. How fast? When she eventually crossed the finish line, she recorded a 2:52:54 marathon, good for the fastest run split of the day for both the men and women’s fields and for an eighth-place finish overall.
Raising the bar in terms of women’s Ironman racing is nothing new to Wellington, and that bar was nudged up once again in South Africa today as her finish time bettered the course record, held by Lucie Zelenkova, by whopping 42:36. As well, the Great Britain native’s finish time of 8:33:56, is the all-time fastest women’s time for a sanctioned Ironman event.
An amazing race, put in by an amazing athlete.
Women’s Professional Results
1 WELLINGTON, Chrissie 8:33:56
2 JOYCE, Rachel 9:08:23
3 RIESLER, Diana 9:20:37
4 FELT, Sylvia 09:24:31
5 STEVENS, Amanda 09:25:50
6 GRANGER, Belinda 09:28:59
7 BENZ, Simone 09:31:21
8 EMERY, Dianne 09:44:47
9 DOGANA, Martina 09:47:47
10 GRICE, Yvette 09:59:28
Brit wins Ironman South Africa by nearly 35 minutes; Tissink wins men’s race