Chrissie Wellington achieved unprecedented dominance in triathlon over a four-year period beginning in 2007, and perhaps nothing accentuates her performances through that stretch more than what she did at Challenge Roth in 2011.
Wellington first broke the full-distance world record in Roth in 2009, blowing past Yvonne van Vlerkin’s mark of 8:45:48 by nearly 14 minutes with her 8:31:59 finish. The following year, after breaking the 17-year-old Ironman World Championship course record the previous October, Wellington smashed her world-best time once again at the German race, this time finishing in 8:19:13.
Then, in 2011, shortly after lowering her Ironman-branded record in South Africa in April, the now 38-year-old went to Roth in July and set the triathlon world on fire once again.
The English native led the women out of the water in 49:49 and then had the fastest bike split of the day by 10 minutes, blasting a 4:40:39, to open up a 12-minute gap on her closest competitors heading onto the run.
Wellington ran a blistering 2:44:35 marathon, incredibly bringing her to the finish in fifth place overall, breaking her world best time by exactly one minute — 8:18:13. Her run time was also an all-time record, improving on her 2:48:54 from the previous year, and only men’s winner Andreas Raelert, who also set a world record that day, had a faster run split.
Wellington’s record remains to this day, with Switzerland’s Daniela Ryf coming the closest after clocking 8:22:04 at the 2016 edition of Challenge Roth.