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Wellington to take a break from Ironman racing

To pursue other opportunities in 2012. She talks to the BBC.

Four time World Champion and World Ironman Distance Record Holder, Chrissie Wellington has announced that she’ll be taking a break from competing in Ironman during 2012 to explore other opportunities, including the forthcoming publication of her autobiography, A Life Without Limits.

Chrissie, who won her fourth World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, last October and maintained her unbeaten record at Ironman distance – making it 13 victories from 13 races – said of her decision:

“I’ve given absolutely everything to Ironman over the past five years. However, this year I’ve decided to take a break as I would like to spend more time focusing on other pursuits including dedicating more time to my chosen charities, the publication of my book and more active promotion of the sport in the UK, as well as giving myself the chance to explore and seize new opportunities within triathlon and outside. I feel that I wouldn’t be able to pursue all of these different goals whilst simultaneously dedicating the energy and time needed to compete in Ironman events and treat them with the respect and complete dedication they deserve.

The past five years have been absolutely incredible and I am extremely happy, proud and content with everything that I have achieved in the sport – topping it all off with the race of my life in Kona last year. I have always seen triathlon as a part of my life, rather than the be all and end all, and am looking forward to a little more variety and balance by pursuing other interests, as well as spending more time with my family and friends.

I am really excited about what the future holds and being able to spend more time around the sport without the commitment of full time ironman training and racing”.

In addition and to quell some speculation, Chrissie tweeted today: “And no, for those who have asked, or were wondering, i am not pregnant.”

Needless to say, the road the the 2012 Kona title has opened up big time. Things look good for Carfrae but she will face a stiff challenge as the rest of the top women’s will likely adjust their schedules to qualify for Kona early and make preparations to go for the win.

Listen to the BBC Interview with Chrissie here.