A Life Without Limits, by Chrissie Wellington
Sunday 24 March 2013
For an accident-prone "normal girl from Norfolk" who didn't run a serious race until she was 25, Chrissie Wellington has done pretty well for herself. A multiple world champion and record-holder, she remained unbeaten in 13 straight races at her chosen event, the Ironman triathlon, before her retirement in December.
And what a fiendish event it is – a 2.4-mile swim followed by a 112-mile bike ride, topped off with a marathon. Wellington's account of how she graduated from entering her first marathon on a whim in 2002 to the Ironman – surely Ironwoman would be more apt – title five years later is inspirational in the truest sense, because she feels strongly that sport can make ordinary people do extraordinary things.
She was helped/bullied on her way by a tyrannical coach with a chequered past but was obviously deeply competitive by nature, and her accounts of the more brutal aspects of Ironman are not for the squeamish; if a competitor was illegally slipstreaming her in the cycling phase, for instance, she would let fly an airborne stream of pee to make them back off.
Despite receiving an MBE in 2010, Wellington has yet to receive all the recognition she undoubtedly merits. On the evidence here, she deserves to be at least as famous as her ducal namesake.
Published in paperback by Constable, £8.99
filmIn Black Seahe is as audiences have never seen him before
MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word
Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
- 2 Shia LaBeouf claims he was raped during #IAMSORRY art installation performance
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' close to camp
Star Wars The Force Awakens trailer: What we know about JJ Abrams' film
Exodus Gods and Kings casting controversy: Ridley Scott would never cast 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
The Fall, series 2, episode 3 – TV review: The Gillian Anderson drama is starting to push the realms of plausibility, but who cares?
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
David Cameron sets out immigration reforms: We should distrust Ukip and their 'snake-oil of simple solutions'