Lucy Charles-Barclay and Reece Barclay guested on the MX Endurance podcast to talk about their plans for the 2022 season. With the Ironman 70.3 world champion signed on to do the Pho3nix Sub8 Project Powered by Zwift, Team Charles-Barclay is looking for every bit of advantage they can muster to deliver the margin needed for Lucy to go under eight hours over the full distance of triathlon.
Each athlete is allowed to select 10 pacemakers to help them over the 3.8-kilometer swim, 180-kilometer bike, and 42-kilometer run. Lucy wants an all-British team, saying, “The fastest time ever over the distance is by Chrissie Wellington, who's a British athlete. So I really wanted to try and have an all-British team of women so that we keep that time within Great Britain. So most of my team are Brits at the moment; it's not fully confirmed yet.”
On the Professional Triathletes Organisation rankings, here are the top 10 British women ranked after Lucy (#1):
British triathlon definitely runs deep, and not just over the Olympic distance. Of these athletes, 2016 Ironman 70.3 world champion Holly Lawrence, two-time Commonwealth gold medalist Jodie Stimpson, and Lucy Buckingham race primarily over the half distance but are known to keep the pace up on the bike leg. Kat Matthews, Fenella Langridge, Nikki Bartlett, Ruth Astle, Laura Siddall, and Kimberley Morrison all put at least one ironman under their belt in 2021, while Emma Pallant-Browne last completed a full distance in 2018 when she clinched a bronze at Ironman Austria and qualified for Kona. Ruth Astle is a bike course record holder (Ironman Florida). Also of note, Nikki Bartlett acted as a race guide for a Paralympic athlete; if she is selected for Lucy’s pacemaker team she will already know how to pace and guide another athlete on to their goals.
The athletes Lucy may ultimately select will most likely be those who can help her on the bike leg. “That's where the most time gains are going to be made, so the least amount of energy I can use on that part and then be able to run quick off the bike is obviously the key part,” she said.
“If we plan it right, we get our tactics right, it should hopefully be the easiest full distance I've ever done. It should be the shortest day of the full distance I've ever done, but without a doubt there's still a lot to consider in terms of pacemakers, tactics and equipment choices – which again is another big headache for us, but it's super exciting.”
(Header photo by James Giddins on Unsplash.)
Patience is the key when trying to elevate your running game. Slow progress allows you to make permanent gains.
The focus for them now will be to recover to race the full distance again on June 5. Next time, the goal is not merely to win, but to be the first to go Sub7 and Sub8.
The St. George course favors strong athletes, and with major players out of action we may see new world champions in men's and women's fields.