New Way to Kona and One Gutsy Performance

Two pretty cool stories have come out of the aftermath of the Ironman World Championships in Kona.  The first is that WTC, the governing body (read: the private equity firm that owns the brand) for branded Ironman events around the world, has just announced a new way for age groupers to get their foot in the door at the World Championships – a dream for most everyone who races the 70.3 or full IM distance.

Ben Hoffman riding the famous lava fields of The Big Island

According to this article, now it seems that the long-termers who commit themselves to qualifying but can never quite get fast enough to make it to The Big Island will now have a back-door to the promise land – but you REALLY have to want to get there.  How’s that, you ask?  Well, apparently ALL you have to do is complete 12 full-distance Ironman-branded events and you’re there!  Pretty cool incentive, I must say.

ON ANOTHER NOTE, did you see Chrissie Wellington‘s crazy win at this year’s Kona en route to her 4th Ironman World Championship in just 5 years (I have to say that it would have been 5 in 5 years if she could have raced last year)???  Having crashed her bike just a few weeks from starting at Kona, she risked not competing for the second straight year because of health issues.  This time, she told the Twitter universe and her blog readers that a crash brought her some pretty nasty road rash.

Chrissie's road rash...there's more than meets the eye.

Not that it wasn’t true…there’s just MUCH more to the story.  Hiding the true nature of her injuries from everyone – including her closest competitors – in the lead-up to the race, Chrissie got all hard-core on us and worked through some serious stuff.  Apparently in this little crash incident, she also tore her intercostal muscle and her left pectoral – some key muscles when it comes to swimming, getting aero on a tri bike, or really moving without pain in any way.  Just a few days before the race, Chrissie had to stop just 1 km into a swim workout, in tears from the pain.  T-minus 5 days to the race, and she’s in the hospital trying to figure out how to make it through the  day.

But lo and behold, being the hard-core yet perpetually jubilant kick-ass triathlete she is, she toed the line on race day.  Usually a lead swimmer, she exited the water 10 minutes back, and then spent 112 miles on the bike between 12-14 minutes behind the race leader – another very unusual situation for Chrissie.  And this is where it gets cool.  Noticeably in tremendous pain, Chrissie guts out a 2:52:41 marathon through a bruised hip and elbow, torn muscles in her upper body, and some nasty road rash to pass EVERYONE ELSE in the women’s field, taking her 4th world champion.  As she said in her own blog post right after the incident, “it’s not a race, it’s war” – and she won.

Read about the whole incredible story chronicled by Competitor here.

Chrissie put it all on the line - including her undefeated Ironman record - to take her 4th IM World Championship in gutsy fashion.

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