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Former IRONMAN World Champion delighted after bouncing back to first full distance win since Kona

Chelsea Sodaro was a dominant winner at the 40th edition of IRONMAN New Zealand in Taupo.

Staff Reporter
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It is no secret that last season was not the year Chelsea Sodaro wanted. For the 2022 IRONMAN World Champion, obstacles on and off the race course mired what should have been a great year.

However, after a huge victory at IRONMAN New Zealand this Weeknd, Sodaro looks to be inching closer to her unstoppable best, with Saturday’s win in Taupo a testament to her progress.

Taking the tape in a new course record time and validating her slot for this year’s IRONMAN World Championship in Nice, the American stated in her post-race interview how good it was to be back.

“This is such an iconic race”

Speaking after her win, Sodaro said it was not lost on her how big of a year it was for IRONMAN New Zealand, which this past weekend celebrated the 40th edition of the event.

Chelsea Sodaro on bike Challenge Roth 2023

“I’m stoked, absolutely stoked, this is such an iconic race, it’s a massive year for this event and to come here and take the win means a lot.

“It feels really good, as up until this season I’d only won one race since giving birth to my daughter and that was the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona.

“Last year was really tough for me but I wanted to get back to the love of racing and it’s much easier to love racing when you’re winning.

“I just wanted to pour all my training out on the race course and have fun doing this because it’s such a privilege to be able to do this sport.”

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“I just really want to enjoy the win”

Reflecting on the lessons a tough past 12 months have taught her, Sodaro said that above all else, savouring the win was one of her biggest takeaways, because you never know when your last one will be.

Chelsea Sodaro takes the tape at the 2024 IRONMAN New Zealand.
[Photo credit – Graeme Murray]

“I think I just really want to enjoy the win. I’ve learned since the win in Kona that just because you win once and on a really big stage it doesn’t mean anything for the next races and I’ll always have a target on my back in some ways.

“It feels really good when you can execute your day and show your fitness. I have such an incredible team of people around me, what they did to get me to the start line this week even is next level.

“Winning is the best way to say thank you to the people who support you and it will be fun to celebrate for the next few days.”

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.

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