Rebekah KeatÂ was unable to improve on her second placing at Challenge Roth, despite puting in an amazing time of 8:52:10. Keat was unfortunate enough to come up against a once in a generation athlete on top of their form in Wellington. In retaining her title BritishÂ Chrissie WellingtonÂ claimed a world record for women over the Ironman distance. Her time of 8:19:13 was good enough to beat all barÂ six of the elite male athletes, and smashed her own world best time of 8:31:59, set over the same course last year.
Wellington dominated from start to finish, exiting the water close behind Tereza Macel (CZE) in 50:28 and quickly building a lead on the bike leg of nearly 22 minutes heading onto the run. She then managed to produce a 2:48:54 marathon to comfortably claim the victory.
“For once I’m lacking the words to describe how I feel,” Wellington said at the finish. “I never thought that I would be able to break my own world record, and to do it has made me so incredibly happy and proud.”
“I really didn’t think that I could break the world record, but I’ve shown now that truly anything is possible,” she said. “I’m so happy.”
Wellington described her race over the 3.8km swim, 180km bike and 42.2km run as one that was “as close to as perfect as I have ever had.”
Australian Keat finished in second to Chrissie for the second year in a row. “Chrissie was just…I don’t know,” said Keat, searching for words at the finish. “The boys have to look out for her now. I have to try to beat her but I don’t know what we can do.”
“It was really hard,” Keat said of her day. “I didn’t feel the heat but I just felt terrible on the bike and couldn’t get going. I felt good on the second lap but it was too late.”
“My coach was out there on the run course and he said you’re so far behind I don’t want you to really, really push with another Ironman in six weeks.”
Wellington said of her performance that she thinks it’s important for her to continue to show other women athletes what’s possibleâ€and that there are really no limits: “We’re narrowing the gap between the men and women, and that’s really important,” she said, adding that she hoped her performance would inspire other women to take up triathlon or challenge themselves with goals they might’ve thought impossible. “I never thought 8:19 was possible. Hopefully that’s helped to promote triathlon and promote the growth of women in sport and that’s something that I’m really proud to do.”
Australia’s Belinda Granger, winner here in 2005, took fourth in 9:15:25. Granger said she enjoyed the new run course’s loop through the center of the old marketplace: “There were so many people there cheering, you can’t run slowly. You just want to run fast for them, I’m a little disappointed with fourth but it’s still better than last year. I’m happy and I feel OK now. I’ll rest up and in four weeks’ time I have to do it all over again in Copenhagen [at Challenge Copenhagen].”
For more, visit Challenge-Roth.com.
18 July 2010; Roth, Germany
1) Chrissie Wellington (GBR) (50:28/4:36:33/2:48:54) 8:19:13
2) Rebekah Keat (AUS) (52:14/4:56:44/3:00:06) 8:52:10
3) Tereza Macel (CZE) (50:18/4:58:46/3:16:56) 9:09:29
4) Belinda Granger (AUS) (52:18/4:56:46/3:23:18) 9:15:25
5) Dagmar Matthes (GER) (54:48/5:10:53/3:22:59) 9:32:05