Sunday, July 18, 2010

Chrissie Wellington improves her Ironman WR with 8:19:13

Triple Ironman Hawaii Champion Chrissie Wellington improved her own Ironman-distance triathlon World Record today at Challenge Roth 2010 with 8:19:13.

She set the previous record 8:31:59 at Challenge Roth 2009. At the time that was already thought to be an incredible achievement.

The new WR is simply stunning, although the event is one of the fastest in the world. With over 3,100 competitors this is the largest triathlon in the world. Although drafting is strongly discouraged during cycling, with so many people on the course it will inevitably happen here and there.

The swim course consists of one 3,800-meter loop in the Main-Danube Canal, which feels pretty much like swimming in a big pool. The water quality is monitored and ship traffic is stopped during the race. Wetsuits are allowed.

The 180 km bike course follows undulating countryside roads. The fanatic Tour-deFrance-like crowds powered by local beer - they even have a 'beer mile' along the course - make the riders climb the hills quickier than planned.

This year being the 950th anniversary of Roth, the marathon run course was modified to lead right through the old town of Roth. A forest section of the run course was respectively shortened.

The weather was favorable: sunny and partially cloudy. The highest temperature of the day was 25 C.

Wellington's record-breaking split times were:
  • 3.8 km swim - 0:50:28
  • T1 - 0:01:56
  • 180 km bike - 4:36:33 (best female bike split ever)
  • T2 - 0:01:25
  • 42.2 km marathon run - 2:48:54 (best female marathon split ever).
This was enough to beat all but six men - she finished 7th overall. Men's winner was Rasmus Henning with 7:52:36. The second woman to finish was Rebekah Keat with 8:52:10.

This was Wellington's first race at this distance since her latest World Championship victory in October. In June she won Ironman Kansas 70.3 (a half-ironman) and was honoured with MBE.

No comments: