One of Britain's most iconic endurance athletes of recent years has announced her retirement from professional sport. Chrissie Wellington, four-time Ironman World Triathlon Champion, confirmed she will step down on Monday, bringing an end to a record-breaking career.
The Suffolk-born athlete won the world championships in Hawaii over the brutal distance of 2.4mile swim, 112 mile cycle and 26.2 mile run three years running from 2007 to 2009.
She missed the 2010 event due to illness, but regained her title in 2011. In the same year, she also set a phenomenal new world record time of 8hrs 18m 13s in Roth, Germany.
Speaking on her website to announce her retirement, the 35-year-old said: "Over the past 12 months I have had time to reflect and think, about my past and, of course, also of my future. Being a professional ironman athlete has been one of the greatest experiences of my life.
"My passion for the sport hasn't waned, but my passion for new experiences and new challenges is what is now burning the most brightly. Hence, I have got to the point where I know that it is right for me to retire from professional ironman distance racing.
"Needless to say this decision has not come easy, but deep in my heart I know it is the right thing for me to do. My future will, of course, involve sport and triathlon - but it will no longer be the axis around which my entire life revolves."