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Sub7 Sub8 project a big step closer after Zwift partnership

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The much-hyped and much-debated Sub7 Sub8 Project moved a significant step closer to reality when Zwift was unveiled as the presenting partner for the initiative.

Lucy Charles-Barclay, Nicola Spirig, Kristian Blummenfelt and Alistair Brownlee are already confirmed as being on board for the event – which is expected to take place in the summer of 2022. A date and venue will be announced in the coming weeks.

What is Sub7 Sub8?

it will see Blummenfelt and Brownlee seek to become the first men to go under seven hours for the Ironman distance, while Charles-Barclay and Spirig look to break the eight-hour barrier for the women. Now Zwift is on board, the whole thing is starting to become very real.

Two-time IRONMAN World Champion Chris McCormack said: “The Pho3nix Sub7 and Sub8 Project Powered by Zwift is an extraordinary attempt that requires everything to go right for our athletes. Getting the training right is key, and our partnership with Zwift makes that possible.”

Zwift CEO and founder Eric Min meanwhile says he’s delighted his company will be a part of the journey to next summer.

“We’re immensely proud that so many of the world’s professional triathletes choose to train on Zwift. In this event every second will count towards breaking the ambitious targets. We are confident that Zwift will play a significant part in helping the four athletes to achieve their goals whilst having some fun along the way.”

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Alistair Brownlee reaction

For Brownlee meanwhile, Zwift has transformed indoor riding. He explained: “It’s no secret that I much prefer riding outside when I possibly can, but I think that Zwift has changed it from something that I really don’t like doing to something that I find quite fun because there’s a competitive element of racing other people all around the world.

“For some reason it gets the most out of me in that competitive situation. Whether it’s me as a professional athlete and it encourages, inspires, and motivates me to do physical activity, or someone who gets inspired to do the hour of cycling before work or that hour on a weekday evening – I think Zwift does that, so I think that is genuinely awesome.”

Ironman distance times has been a hot topic in recent weeks. Back in July Jan Frodeno set a new fastest ever time of 7:27:53 in his Tri Battle Royal vs Lionel Sanders. Then recently he saw what the brilliant Norwegians Gustav Iden and Kristian Blummenfelt could do.

Iden produced 7:42:57 at IRONMAN Florida on the back of an extremely challenging swim.

Blummenfelt through set a new mark – albeit with a strongly current-assisted swim – by producing 7:21:12 at IRONMAN Cozumel last weekend.

That left him believing Sub7 is “definitely possible” with the aids that the event will provide – notably having pacers and optimising the course.

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