Mary Beth Ellis

Mary Beth Ellis as she wins 2011 Ironman Canada

Colorado’s Mary Beth Ellis–a four-time IRONMAN champion–continues to a swift recovery from her September 12 surgery to repair a fractured clavicle and torn ligaments in her AC joint as a result of a bike crash. The eight-time IRONMAN champion has been undergoing aggressive rehabilitation after having arthroscopic surgery; she was allowed on a trainer only a few days after her surgery and returned to running in a week.

Despite the rigorous hours of physical therapy, Ellis is unable to swim a normal session with two arms and is mostly doing one arm swimming. “There is definitely a time clock hanging over my head as the race is two weeks from this Saturday,” Ellis told us this week. “If I am able to race in Kona, then I will be on the starting line, but at this point I am still not sure if that will be possible.”

Ellis, who has gone undefeated in four races this year, says she will do what it takes after taking so much time away from family and her husband in pursuit of top performance in Kona. She has started a fundraising campaign to raise money to help athletes receive cutting edge therapy through Vail’s famous Steadman Philippon Research Institute.