No, it's not an April Fools prank.
Ironman 70.3 world champion Lucy Charles-Barclay has announced she has an injury requiring immediate attention and at least four to six weeks of rest.
Lucy said in her vlog announcement, "I had an MRI scan on my hip which unfortunately gave us the news that there is a small fracture in the cortical region of my bone and there is also a large amount of edema [swelling caused by fluid due to injury/inflammation] in the bone... in the femoral neck." She continued, "We don't really know how long this is going to take to heal; it could take a matter of four weeks, it could take a matter of four months. We really don't know at this stage."
The break to heal and rehabilitate this injury effectively rules her out of the Ironman World Championship in St. George on the first week of May, and the Pho3nix Sub8 Project, powered by Zwift in the first week of June.
Pho3nix Foundation and Mana Group have released a statement, which reads:
“We are extremely disappointed with the announcement, but our priority is always athlete safety and well-being,” says Chris McCormack, Pho3nix Foundation board member and CEO of Mana Sports and Entertainment.
“I honestly believe Lucy was in the type of form to not just go Sub8 but close to the men’s 7.26 benchmark. We wish her a speedy recovery and look forward to having her in the commentary booth with us on our history-making race day.”
Lucy will still attend the event, providing expert commentary and will be engaged in many other aspects of the historic project.
We wish Lucy a speedy recovery and look forward to her return to the racing circuit, hopefully in time for the Ironman World Championship Kona in October.
So now the question is: how will the Sub8 Project continue? Will they have only Nicola Spirig (who is coming from her own injury battle from a bike crash) making the attempt to become the first woman to complete an ironman under 8 hours? Who else would be so bold and audacious? We have a few names in mind...
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.