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Counting back to Kona: 2011 Alexander and Wellington recapture Ironman world titles

It was yet another dramatic year on the Big Island with a new men's record and a dramatic final win for Chrissie Wellington

Photo by: David McColm

If 2010 was the year of surprises and drama in Kona, 2011 served as the year when the results were a bit more predictable. Craig Alexander found a new level on the bike, following a strong ride with an impressive 2:44:03 marathon to take his third Ironman World title in 8:03:56, setting a new course record and adding to his Ironman 70.3 world crown that he’d won one month prior. 

“I wish everyone in the world could experience what I experience in that last mile [of the run],” said Alexander, then 38, at the finish line. “That was the performance I’ve been dreaming of.” 

After suffering a bike crash two weeks prior to the race, Great Britain’s Chrissie Wellington won her fourth world title in less than her typical dominant fashion. Despite a 2:52:09 run course record by Mirinda Carfrae, Wellington’s 2:52:41 marathon allowed her to stay ahead for the win in 8:55:08. Kelowna’s Heather Wurtele, the Ironman Lake Placid and Ironman St. George champion, finished eighth in 9:17:56. 

“This race means more to me than anything,” said Wellington at the finish. “There were times that my body was going to give up on me. To be crowned the Ford Ironman World Champion is the greatest honour.” 

Milos Kostic during the 2011 Ford Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii

Canadians in the Top 5 at the Ironman World Championship 


Sheila Croft (W35–39) 1:11:56, 5:26:42, 3:06:24, 9:51:26 

Carol Peters (W60–64) 12:20:16

Milos Kostic (M70–74) 11:45:05 

Carol Peters at the 2011 Ford Ironman World Championship. Photo: David McColm


Linnea Humphrey (W45–49) 10:29:34 

Cullen Goodyear (W60–64) 13:00:53 

Ann Barnes (W55–59) 11:16:12 


Claudia Johnston (W35–39) 10:08:30 


Pierre-Yves Gigou (M20–24) 9:25:10 

Gina Spear-Burrows (W45–49) 10:52:01 

Jacquelin Smalec (W50–54) 11:17:17 


Laura Keefe (W35–39) 10:16:41 

Carmel Tindale Fox (W50–54) 11:20:05 

Laurelee Welder (W55–59) 11:47:18

This story originally appeared in the January/February 2012 issue of Triathlon Magazine