Chrissie Wellington proved today that she is the queen of Ironman triathlon by winning her fourth Ironman World Championship title with grit and determination in a come-from-behind victory that had her digging deep to cross the finishline in first place.
"This race means more to me than anything. It's the sweetest victory...I just proved that anything is possible," she said after winning the race. "I had to dig so deep today. I tried to have faith in my body."
After a very slow swim (1:01:03) at least for Wellington, and by her standards an average bike ride (4:56:53), Chrissie Wellington stormed the marathon in 2:52:41 to make up a massive 12 minute on the leaders to take the win.
Wellington suffered a serious bike accident just two weeks ago in Boulder that left many wondering if she was still at the top of her race form.
Wellington answered those questions today by crossing the finishline in 8:55:08, the second-fastest women's time in race history...the first also belonging to the British triathlete.
"But I hurt like i never have before, and had to dig into the depths of my body and soul. I think i need a plate of chips," she tweeted after the race.
Last year's winner, Australian triathlete Mirinda Carfrae, crossed the line in second after chasing Wellington for 26.2 miles through the hot Hawaiian lava fields. Rounding out the podium was fellow Brit Leanda Cave.
Caitlin Snow was the first American triathlete to cross the line in ninth place.
2011 Ironman World Championship
Top Ten Professional Women
1. Chrissie Wellington (GBR) 8:55:08
2. Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) 8:57:57
3. Leanda Cave (GBR) 9:03:29
4. Rachel Joyce (GBR) 9:06:57
5. Caroline Steffen (SUI) 9:07:32
6. Karin Thuerig (SUI) 9:15:00
7. Sonja Tajsich (GER) 9:15:17
8. Heather Wurtele (CAN) 9:17:56
9. Caitlin Snow (USA) 9:18:11
10. Virginia Berasategui (ESP) 9:19:52
11. Catriona Morrison (GBR) 9:22:07
Click HERE for complete amateur and professional results.