The 30-year-old Briton was the age-group world champion on her first visit to the Big Island, and on four return trips finished second every time in the pro race.
But this year she rewrote the record books, becoming the first woman to go wire-to-wire as she claimed that elusive win in a course record time.
It was a victory made all the more impressive as she’s had to battle back after fracturing the third metatarsal in her left foot in May, the second season in a row she’s spent time on the sidelines.
So no wonder the emotions flowed as she said: “It’s really hard to put it into words. I think it’s been really, really tough the last couple of years and I just have wanted this so badly since I started my career and it’s has been something I’ve worked so hard for and taken me five attempts.
“I’ve finally done it and it’s actually hard to even think about it at the moment. I don’t think it’s sunk in whatsoever. It’s probably going to take a few days, a few weeks, but I’m just over the moon.”
A day to remember for LCB
The race was historic for any number of reasons, especially the fact it was the first time the women have had the entire Kona spotlight on them, with the men’s World Championship having already taken place in Nice.
Charles-Barclay added: “The women out there were just amazing today. All of the pro women were cheering me on. I think they know how badly I’ve wanted this for so long and to have their support, even when we’re all out there suffering, it just shows how amazing this sport is and how amazing all the women are in this sport.
So I thank them so much for giving me that little bit extra energy out there today.
“All I’ve ever wanted is to win this race. So, to be honest, I don’t want for anything else.”
Lucy was in command throughout, leading the swim as she always has done but then following that with the fastest bike split of the day and her first Kona marathon under three hours. She set a new course record of 8:24:31.
Germany’s Anne Haug, the winner in 2019, did close in the last few miles thanks to a new run record time but was still over three minutes back in second, with her compatriot Laura Philipp rounding out the podium in third.