John Levison30 Nov 2021

Passing the torch: Lucy hopes Chrissie will be part of Sub8 bid

Lucy Charles-Barclay talks about her bid to go Sub8 in 2022.
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Lucy Charles-Barclay has a fitting dream for her bid to go Sub8 in 2022 – she wants to share the moment with fellow British icon Chrissie Wellington.

Lucy, along with Swiss Superfrau Nicola Spirig, will bid to go under the eight-hour mark for the Ironman distance at a venue to be confirmed, likely next summer. The project is now very real with Zwift being confirmed last week as a presenting partner.

Wellington, who retired with a perfect 13-0 Ironman record (including four epic victories at Kona), still holds the fastest ever time by a woman for full distance – 8:18:13 set at Challenge Roth in 2011.

Lucy clearly has enormous respect for the athlete who was a British trailblazer before her, and now she hopes that Wellington will be on hand to be a part of that Sub8 bid.

Running with Chrissie?

“I think that I’d absolutely for love her to maybe be like, the final 10k on the run is me just running with Chrissie. Maybe then it’s like keeping it with her as well, she has the fastest time over that distance.

Chrissie Wellington IRONMAN World Championship
Chrissie Wellington – holds fastest Ironman distance time.

“If there’s anybody that’s got the personality and the charisma to keep me in a positive head place on that final part of the run I think it would be her. So yeah, I’ll probably have to have a chat with her, but I’m sure she’d absolutely love to be a part of it as well.”

If one thing is unquestionable about Charles-Barclay, it is her willingness to take on all challenges – whatever the distance, whatever the opposition. So when the opportunity to be a part of Sub8 came along, she did not need to be asked twice.

Lucy up for the challenge

“When I heard about the project I instantly wanted to be involved. Anybody who knows me knows I love a challenge so I was like ‘well this is probably the ultimate challenge for a long-distance athlete to try and break the 8-hour mark’, which obviously Chrissie is the one who has come closest to as a British athlete.

“So the fact that I’d be able to do this in a very unique format where I can draw on 10 other female athletes to help me achieve it, I was like this sounds like a project that I’d love to be a part of.”

While Charles-Barclay and Spirig will attempt to go Sub8 next summer, Kristian Blummenfelt and Alistair Brownlee will bid to go Sub7. Lucy says she has already spoken with the Norwegian Olympic Champion and his team about sharing knowledge.

“Since I’ve learned more about the project, spoken to other athletes. I’ve actually been speaking to KB and his team about almost going in with a joint approach to this, bringing in some more science, looking at maybe bringing in some riders from Tour teams, maybe athletes from individual sports to help me.”

Biggest challenge of Sub8?

As for the biggest challenge presented by the project, it comes from her own ability as an elite swimmer.

“I think one of the biggest challenges will be finding a female athlete to help me for the swim part of the race,” she reasoned.

“It would be really nice if I can find a swimmer that can almost tow me round for the swim so I don’t use any energy there. So we may be bringing out an Olympic swimmer but seeing who we can call up.”