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Celebrating like a champion – Lucy Charles-Barclay on ‘absolute whirlwind since Kona’

'It's been an amazing period of time,' says LCB of the celebrations since Kona

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Lucy Charles-Barclay says her life has changed in a big way since her epic IRONMAN World Championship victory in October.

The 30-year-old Briton says she let the incredible achievement sink in during the run-up to Christmas, in the process raising her own profile and that of the sport in the UK.

With appearances on Sunday Brunch, BBC Radio 4 and ITV’s Evening News as well as a big party at Red Bull’s London HQ, Lucy says she’s never been so busy with media and sponsor commitments.

Her story has an even wider reach as the Kona win – in a course-record time – came after four successive second places on the Big Island.

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‘Having so much fun’

Speaking in her latest YouTube video, embedded below, Charles-Barclay says: “Reece had said to me before the race, if I come second, nothing will change. If I don’t finish the race, nothing will change. But if I win the race, everything will change. And to some extent that definitely does feel true because I’ve never, ever been so busy since coming home from Kona.

“The amount of different opportunities I’ve had, the different media requests – and actually being on mainstream telly in the UK is quite a big deal. I’ve never had that before, so it’s definitely been an absolute whirlwind since Kona.

“And I’ve been trying to embrace and enjoy everything, every opportunity that I’ve been given. I’ve definitely been having so much fun. I’ve also been able to train a little bit around it, but it has been extremely busy and definitely quite a tiring period, but also an amazing period of time.

“I think you often watch telly but never know what goes on behind the scenes. So it was quite cool to see that.

“The definite highlight was being on Sunday Brunch. It was such a fun experience. Both Tim [Lovejoy] and Simon [Rimmer] were absolutely lovely. They make you feel completely comfortable despite being on live telly and also being alongside other celebrities like Leona Lewis and Richard Hammond was just really, really cool. Such a surreal experience, but they were completely lovely as well. That was a real highlight for me.”

Injury update

And LCB feels it’s important to take time out to enjoy the achievement, which in itself was the culmination of years of hard work.

She explains: “It’s really easy to kind of get wrapped into what’s the next goal, what’s the next thing I’m working towards and almost forget to celebrate your successes when they come.

“And for me, this has been such a long time coming. I wanted to make sure that I enjoyed every single opportunity that I had after the race.”

Lucy Charles-Barclay IRONMAN World Championship Kona 2023 Finish
British triathlete Lucy Charles-Barclay pictured after winning in Kona, Hawaii (Getty Images for IRONMAN).

As well as the media appearances, she’s done everything from a night out at the Ritz to handing out finisher tokens at junior parkruns.

She’s also enjoyed a chilled week away in Cornwall and in amongst has focussed on the important task of rehabbing the Achilles injury she had in Kona, saying she’s currently “in a good place” with that and promising a more detailed update soon.

Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  
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