Chelsea Sodaro On Winning The Ironman World Championships Just 18 Months After Giving Birth

The CITIUS MAG Podcast

November 29, 2022

“The hardest part of the process was the psychological aspect, which I didn’t anticipate. I really struggled with postpartum anxiety and some postpartum depression. I think we’re talking about it more but it can be quite debilitating, especially when we’re expected to be so happy and joyful that we have this new beautiful baby but there is another darker piece that happens for a lot of women. It’s definitely something I’ve struggled with and I’m not totally out of the woods with it. Motherhood has really changed me – mostly for the better but there are some mental health things I really need to stay on top of now.”

Chelsea Sodaro made history last month by winning the Ironman Kona World Championship women’s race and becoming the first American to win in Kona since 2002 and the first American woman to win since 1996. One of the most impressive parts is that she accomplished the feat just 18 months after giving birth to her daughter Skylar. Chelsea was in 5th place going into the run before clocking a 2:51 split on the marathon run – that’s after swimming 2.6 miles and biking 112 miles – to win by almost eight minutes. It’s super impressive. It was so great to catch up with Chelsea, who was a pro runner when I started covering track in 2012 through her final track race at the 2016 Olympic Trials. We go deep on her journey to find her calling in triathlon, some of the highs and hardships from her pregnancy, what track and field can learn from another sport and of course that epic day in Hawaii.

You can now listen to our conversation on The CITIUS MAG Podcast. Catch the latest episode of the podcast on Apple Podcasts. We are also on Stitcher, Google Play and Spotify.

chelsea sodaro ironman world champion


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Chris Chavez

Chris Chavez launched CITIUS MAG in 2016 as a passion project while working full-time for Sports Illustrated. He covered the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and grew his humble blog into a multi-pronged media company. He completed all six World Marathon Majors and is an aspiring sub-five-minute miler.