Triathlon News and Notes: A New Name in Short Course, A Determined Ironman Finisher, and More

A look at some of the buzz we’ve picked up in the sport over the past seven days.

Photo: Paul Phillips/Competitive Image

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Lucy Charles-Barclay to Race World Triathlon Championship Series Leeds

Earlier this week, Lucy Charles-Barclay took to Instagram to tease about her next race, posting that there was “something scary on the horizon.” Turns out, the 27-year-old will be jumping into World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS) in Leeds, England on June 6—somewhat of a left turn from her typical long-distance racing, given that it’s a draft-legal Olympic-distance event. But it’s not too far afield for Charles Barclay, who has been mixing it up recently with both super-sprint racing with the Super League Triathlon events (she also placed second in the 1500m at the British Olympic Swimming Trials in April). In Leeds, Charles Barclay will test her mettle against Olympic-bound (and Olympic hopeful) triathletes including world champs Flora Duffy and Katie Zaferes, but she’s not reticent about her goal to podium in Leeds, saying, “it’s time.” (For an inside look on how Charles Barclay trains and stays mentally tough, check out this feature she did with Red Bull.)

Triathlon Community Rallies Around Canadian Athlete Joanna Brown

After a series of very unfortunate health events—including a broken nose, a kidney infection, and a positive COVID-19 antigen test—Canadian professional triathlete Joanna Brown found herself locked inside a hospital room in Lisbon, Portugal earlier this week. Canada’s top draft-legal triathlete, Brown came down with an illness while in Lisbon for the WTCS race, and the hospital put her on lockdown due to Covid concerns (she has since tested negative). Upon hearing of her “travel nightmare,” Brown’s good friend and Team USA triathlete Chelsea Burns started a Go Fund Me to cover her flight home, which raised nearly $1,400. “It is safe to say that absolutely nothing has gone to plan on this trip, but I am now out of hospital, and I finally have a flight booked home tonight. I can’t wait to get my feet back underneath me,” Brown posted on Instagram. Prior to her hospitalization, Brown shared her story about racing in Yokohama with a broken nose and more with the World Triathlon Podcast.

Unofficial Final Finisher at Ironman Tulsa Celebrated for Determination

Sue Richardson may not have made the midnight cut-off to officially finish Ironman Tulsa last week, but she still went viral for her inspiring effort. The nurse from Virginia Beach, VA took about 22 hours to complete the race, finishing around 4 a.m. on Monday morning with friends by her side. “I was bound and determined,” said Richardson, who has spent most of the past year-and-a-half working on a Covid-19 hospital unit, and used her training to keep her focus during a harrowing time in her career.  “We had a lot of cases, a lot of people were so incredibly sick from Covid, I needed something to work for to be the best I could at work. Ironman gives you that.” While Richardson’s performance is technically a DNF, upon hearing of her determination, Ironman has said they’ll give her a medal.

Join Andy Potts at Kona Training Camp

Andy Potts punched his ticket to the Ironman World Championships by finishing eighth at Ironman Tulsa, and now he’s inviting athletes to join him afterward for a Kona training camp. The 44-year-old highly-decorated American triathlete is hosting a series of training camps through his AP Racing platform, culminating in October on the Big Island. “Go and watch the race happen, and then stick around the week after,” he shared in an Instagram video. “We’ll be able to ride the course and really get to take in the atmosphere of the Ironman World Championships.” Slots are still available for both the Kona camp and one in Beaver Creek, Colo.; click here to register and for more info. 

Ben Kanute Shares Insight into the Yokohama Bubble

What’s it really like to be an athlete inside a biosecure bubble before a big event? Top American triathlete Ben Kanute shares his experience of being restricted to his hotel room prior to the WTCS event in Yokohama in a YouTube video, offering a glimpse of how he passed time and prepared, including running while tethered to a band attached to a door. “Essentially, we were ‘stuck’ in our hotel room for certain parts of the day,” said Kanute, who said that the athletes were allowed at set times to leave for training in isolated areas on a bike trainer or in a gym. “There was ample time to train, but also room for creativity and adaptation.” Kanute followed up that he enjoyed the challenge of living in the bubble, adding that he brought a rice cooker to make meals on his own, while athletes also had food delivered to him by race organizers. Kanute, who hopes to be selected for the Tokyo games for the Mixed Relay event, finished 37th in the race.

“Tri Blend” Wine Made for Those Who Swim, Bike, Run…and Sip

USA Triathlon has teamed up with The Vice Wine to create a new “Tri” red wine from winemaker (and Team USA duathlete) Malek Armrani, founder of the Los Angeles-based small batch winemaker. “The Tri” is a blend of 18% Cabernet Franc, 52% St. Laurent, and 30% Malbec—the precise blending a reflection of American athlete Joe Maloy’s race at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. (The percentages matching the time Maloy, a friend and mentor of Armrani’s, spent on the swim, bike, and run, respectively). The Tri Blend is available online, with proceeds from this batch benefitting the USA Triathlon Foundation.  

Paratriathlete Patricia Walsh Featured in New Children’s Book

Paratriathlete Patricia Walsh is among the six athletes featured in the new children’s book Women of Adventure: Being Big in a Brave World. Walsh—who lost her vision at age 14 as a result of a pediatric brain tumor and complications from surgery—won the world championship in her division in 2015 and holds the Ironman world record for visually impaired athletes. “How sentimental I am to be included in this book of women finding the best of themselves through sport,” Walsh posted this week. “I wish I had had something like this when I was young. In P.E. classes I was asked to just sit patiently on the sidelines. They believed it was too dangerous for me to participate in sports… I hope this book is shared with children and parents to give them hope and belief in what’s possible.”

Podcast Notes

  • Runner-turned triathlete and duathlon world champ and top triathlete Emma Pallant heads to the Triathlete Hour to share insight into recent happenings in her life, including living and training in South Africa, and why she doesn’t miss being a pro runner. 
  • Daniela Ryf may seem unstoppable these days, but she took some time to slow down and chat with Greg and Laura Bennett for their podcast. The four-time Ironman world champ chats about her return to racing post-Covid, her recent life changes (including coaching herself), and more.
  • Ironman world champ Mirinda ‘Rinny’ Carfrae talks about balancing training and motherhood, life with two kids, and her postpartum return to competition on WITSUP Women In Triathlon. 
  • Taylor Knibb heads to Oxygen Addict to  rehash her exciting Olympic-qualifying race in Yokohama.
  • Patrick Lemieux of Pro Tri News shares his thoughts on what the U.S. men should do to get Olympic selections and who USAT should select for the Tokyo squad alongside Morgan Pearson.
  • MX Endurance podcast projects Lucy Charles’ chances in Leeds and dissects all of the action in Ironman Tulsa and the WTCS race in Lisbon.
  • Triathlon Taren brings on yogi Helen Faliveno to talk about how yoga can make you a better triathlete.
  • The Working Triathlete showcases age-grouper Seth Gourson and shares his story of how he qualified for the Ironman 70.3 champs in his very first triathlon.
  • Multiple Ironman 70.3 champion Helle Frederiksen puts on her coaching hat and weighs in on race day nutrition and how to fuel across all distances on The Inside Tri show.
  • Not a podcast, but worth a watch if you can’t get enough of Jan Frodeno: The world champ and coffee connoisseur shares “memories of racing and coffee on the road” in his Spilling the Beans Instagram series. This week, he posted episode three, offering insight on how he once filled his bottles with cold brew purchased at a Frankfurt night club.

Jan Frodeno Reflects on His Final Ironman World Championship

Immediately after finishing 24th place at his final Ironman World Championships, the Olympic medalist (and three-time IMWC winner) explains what his race in Nice meant to him.