At some stage Lucy Charles-Barclay will shut down her 2021 season, but not yet after she confirmed she will race WTCS Abu Dhabi next month.
The newly-crowned IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion has been in demand since that epic victory in St George last month, fulfilling media commitments and fitting in high-profile events like Super League Triathlon Malibu and the London Marathon.
Now she is set to head to the Middle East for November 5-6 as she sets out on the long road to what she hopes will be a spot on the Great Britain team for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
We recently highlighted WTCS Abu Dhabi as one of our five races still to look forward to in 2021 – highlighting there that Lucy was on the draft start list for the UAE race. That participation is now confirmed.
Abu Dhabi next for LCB
She revealed the news in a video update on her YouTube channel, explaining: “The off-season hasn’t started quite yet as I am going to be racing in Abu Dhabi in 10 days’ time – it is a Sprint-distance triathlon, the WTCS race, so there are big points up for grabs and it’s obviously another learning experience for me.
“I’ve gone from doing the Olympic distance in Leeds to the Super Sprint short distance in Super League – this is going to fall right in the middle.”
Lucy, who turned 28 three days before that sensational victory in St George, has advertised her ability to excel at just about any distance in recent months. This is yet another learning curve.
“It’s another new event for me, I have never raced in the sprint distance before so looking forward to it – I have been trying to hone some of my skills, trying to scrub up on those transitions, and hopefully in Abu Dhabi I am going to show some improvements from Super League.
“After Abu Dhabi I am going to be coming back home, I am undecided if I will race one more time after that – it will be a judgment call of how I feel when I get home. On a normal year I finish Kona in October, I cross that finish line and I am like offseason is here – I am done.
“Definitely getting to the point where I need that, let my hair down and chill out, but I know Reece is going to do a race so he’s going to continue training – so I’ll probably keep training because he is.
“I am not going to announce that I am doing another race until I am 100% confident – but there is a likelihood there will be one more race before I have an off season.”
That (potential) ‘other race’ would seemingly be a decision as to whether or not she takes up her place at CLASH Daytona, which revealed a stunning entry list earlier this month.
It’s sinking in – I’m a World Champion
More than a month on from finally being crowned a World Champion, the reality is starting to properly sink for Lucy – even though she has not been able to truly celebrate as yet.
“I don’t think we have have had a massive full-on celebration yet – which we are going to have pretty soon but it is definitely starting to sink in that I am a World Champion now.
“I think having gone back to the pain cave, done some training in there – it’s like, that’s where it all started on this triathlon journey – trying to complete an IRONMAN, trying to go Pro, trying to win a race, trying to win a world title – the journey started there.
“That’s where I had been dreaming of world titles, that’s where I put the work in – so to go back in there and be like ‘I’ve actually done it and all that hard work was worth it’ – that’s where it started to sink in more than anywhere else.”
Marathons and swims
As we said, Lucy has fitted in a ton of different challenges during the second half of 2021, despite the pandemic, including that London Marathon experience.
She said: “I was just so happy to finish the London Marathon because I’ve had a real rocky road with that race so it was nice to firstly, make it to the start line fit healthy, and secondly, just enjoy running it and finishing in a time felt was pretty good considering I was just going to have a great time.”
Lucy also took time out in recent weeks to return to her swimming roots by competing in the Essex County Championships.
She revealed: “I swam the 400m IM, 50m backstroke, 200m freestyle and the 100m breaststroke – I was really happy with my 400m medley and 200m freestyle, both of them I got my national time for.”