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Page last updated at 10:12 GMT, Monday, 19 July 2010 11:12 UK

Chrissie Wellington sets new Ironman world record

Chrissie Wellington crosses the line at Challenge Roth 2010
Wellington remains unbeaten over the Ironman distance

Triple world champion Chrissie Wellington has defended her Challenge Roth title, setting a new world record.

The 33-year-old from Norfolk finished in eight hours 19 minutes 13 seconds, 12.46 better than her 2009 race.

Wellington, named an MBE in this year's birthday honours list, has become the first woman ever to complete five sub-nine-hour Ironman races.

She finished the event in Germany over half an hour ahead of Australia's Rebekah Keat, and was 7th overall.

Wellington told BBC Radio Norfolk it was still a big surprise to improve on her time at last year's event.

"I really didn't think it was possible to break the record that I set last year," she said.

"To do so and to do it so definitively has been incredibly overwhelming. I think I've even surprised myself."

Wellington remains unbeaten over an Ironman course, the long-distance discipline of triathlon which comprises a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a marathon run.

Despite having won three times at the event's spiritual home, the World Championships in Hawaii, she says Challenge Roth is right up there with Kona when it comes to fanatical support.

"There's no other race quite like it, the crowd support is a lot like the Tour De France, there's people five or six rows deep lining the bike course, and again on the run," she said.

"That makes it really extra special, it's that support that gives us the energy that we need to perform.

"I'm really proud to have broken the record once again here."

Now I'll focus on some light training and recovery, then I'll get back in to it

Chrissie Wellington

Rather than retiring to enjoy a massage or a bath, Wellington then enjoyed her usual post-race custom of remaining to hand out medals to as many finishers as possible.

"That takes its toll, dancing on the finish line, but I feel good, now I'll focus on some light training and recovery.

"Then I'll get back in to it and it's all systems go to prepare for the World Championships in Hawaii," she said.

The World Championships are held at Kona, Hawaii on Saturday, 9 October, with Wellington aiming to equal Paula Newby-Fraser's record of four consecutive titles.



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