Chrissie Wellington: ‘every race I’ve entered, something’s hurting’

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The multiple world champion Ironman triathlete, 40, on the will to succeed, training too hard and the pleasure of snoring in bed

All my world championships were special for different reasons [Wellington won the World Ironman title four times]. But it was in the first one that I surpassed all my expectations. It was such a surprise to everyone – including me. It changed my life for ever.

At school I was extremely focused. I always wanted to achieve the highest grades and to beat as many people in my class as possible. My parents are non-pushy. I don’t know where my competitive spirit comes from.

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