Wellington remains unbeaten at Ironman distance
Chrissie Wellington won her first race of 2011 finishing Ironman South Africa in another world record time.
The 34-year-old from Feltwell, Norfolk, finished in eight hours, 33 minutes and 56 seconds, beating her own previous best by 2.17 minutes.
Wellington's final leg, a marathon, took her 2:52:54, faster than any athlete in the field.
The three-time world champion beat the course bike record and finished in eighth place overall.
"I always try and win in the fastest time possible but the course here in South Africa isn't known for fast times," she told BBC Radio Norfolk.
"I really wasn't coming here with any eyes on breaking the world record, to do that has really taken me by surprise," she added.
Wellington also revealed that her record time was nearly in jeopardy before the race had started.
"I took my bike down at around four-o'clock [on Saturday] and put it in the rack.
"Then this gentleman by the name of Franz came over and said: 'you do know you've got a huge thorn sticking out of your front tyre don't you?'," she said.
"Sure enough there was a thorn the size of my thumb sticking out, I pulled it out and heard a big hiss, I'll definitely be treating Franz to a glass of wine tonight," she added.
Wellington set her previous Ironman best in Arizona in her final race of 2010, just weeks after missing a third defence of the world championships through illness.
Her victory at Challenge Roth in July 2010 remains the fastest performance over the same distance, but was not at a sanctioned Ironman event.