5 Quick Questions with 70.3 Worlds Contender Paula Findlay
"I’m really happy to be rolling into a late October championship race having stayed healthy all season. My best races come when I’ve been able to string together months of consistent running."
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While much of the focus going into this weekend’s 70.3 World Championships in St. George is on defending champion Lucy Charles-Barclay and young phenom Taylor Knibb, it’d be irresponsible to ignore Paula Findlay. After all, the Canadian has been on an upward trajectory this year, with strong showings at Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga (where she placed second), the PTO Canadian Open (second) and the Collins Cup (third). Even her tenth-place performance at the inaugural U.S. Open, where she struggled mightily in the brutal heat and humidity, was quickly written off as a sign of the difficult conditions of the day, not a shortcoming of the athlete (after all, just about everyone blew up in Dallas that day, including Knibb). Her performance against some of the best in the sport shows that she is ready, willing, and extremely able to be a contender for the podium 70.3 Worlds. We talked with Findlay ahead of her latest showing on what she calls “one of my biggest and most important events of the year.”
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You had big finishes at this year’s Canadian Open and the Collins Cup. Can you talk a little bit about what happened at your race at the U.S. Open?
You have a lot of experience and success at 70.3 St. George. How do you hope to leverage your two previous podium finishes here to a good day at the 2022 70.3 World Championships?
St. George almost feels like a home race for me, since I’ve raced and trained there so many times! I absolutely love the course and I think the climate and rolling terrain suits me well. I love going back to courses that I have raced on before and that I’m familiar with, and St. George definitely checks that box. I don’t have to worry about learning the course on race week, since I’ve raced on it several times.
What do you think will the key moment in this race?
I don’t think there is one particular moment that will be decisive. 70.3 racing at this level is about being consistent throughout the entire race and being smart. Going out too hard will make the back end of the bike really challenging, particularly the climb and descent from Snow Canyon, so pacing and fueling well will be critical (as always)!
Have you changed your approach at all since the race in Dallas? Are you tapering fully for the 70.3 World Championship? If not, what else is on the horizon?
My training approach all year has been consistency and staying healthy, and I’m really happy to be rolling into a late October championship race having stayed healthy all season. My best races come when I’ve been able to string together months of consistent running. I’m definitely tapering for St. George! It’s one of my biggest and most important events of the year.
What do you think will define this race: the swim, the bike, or the run?
I think the bike will be hugely important, especially if Taylor Knibb is on the start line. If she puts too much time into everyone, she will be hard to catch on the run. So my goal is to minimize the damage on the ride.
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