Ahead of the 70.3 World Championships in St. George, Utah we caught up with the many time world champion runner-up British star Lucy-Charles Barclay, who has been camped out in the area for the last week ahead of the race. Here’s what she’s expecting, what she’s looking forward to after the finish line, and what she has planned for the next few years.
Since the Collins Cup, you came over to the U.S., road tripped to Utah, and have been staying at an Airbnb outside St. George. What was the hardest part of all the travel? How many suitcases did you really bring? What’s been your favorite thing in the U.S. so far? (What’s still on your list to do while you’re here?)
Getting entry to the United States was actually very challenging, but with the great support from the PTO [Pro Triathletes Organization] we were able to achieve it and keep our trip plans on track, thanks Dylan. I only brought two suitcases with me, but then when you add two bike boxes and some hand luggage it was a challenge and a fair bit of Jenga involved in loading the car. The road trip from L.A. to Cedar Mountain was great fun, and it was cool to stop off in Vegas and see the city. I am really looking forward to riding in Zion National Park after the St. George race, relaxing a bit, and seeing a really beautiful part of the world.
Presumably you were getting ready for Kona, now you’re racing 70.3 Worlds, and then heading to the Super League champs in Malibu. What has training the last month looked like to prepare for so many different distances and styles?
Yes, it was a real disappointment to be missing another year in Kona, especially as I feel it was my best preparation so far and I was really ready for the Big Island. Training has changed a fair bit since the change of focus to St. George, but I was always planning on racing St. George, so the base work was already done. My long rides and runs became shorter and my speed sessions became a little more intense, but I do think of myself as pretty flexible as an athlete and able to change distances, as I think I have proved this year. I like mixing up my training, so these races give me a great opportunity to show the hard work that I have done. So I’m looking forward to racing such a range of female triathletes over the next two weeks.
Out of all the different races and things you’ve tried during the pandemic, what was your favorite and which are you most proud of?
I think I am most proud of my performance at Leeds because of the total change in racing style and racing against such big names in the world of short-course triathlon for the very first time. This was the first draft-legal race I have done and, although I was confident in my swim, the rest was very unknown and I really had very little time to prepare. I was relieved coming into T2 and felt my run matched up well and I have plenty more to give, especially with the lessons I learned.
My favorite race was in Elsinore, it was my first time in Denmark but it definitely won’t be my last as I really loved it. The whole country was so beautiful and the people were so friendly, and the race course really delivered everything I love in triathlon.
Get the low down on the Ironman 70.3 European Champs in Denmark!!👀
How I became European Champion & broke 4hrs for a half distance triathlon👏🏻🏆🥳
New video out now:https://t.co/QpaEs4LePC
🎥: @hollycharles_0 #Europeanchampion #triathlon
📸: @JamesMitchell5 pic.twitter.com/bJotMT7LXW
— Lucy Charles-Barclay (@LucyAnneCharles) July 1, 2021
Are we going to see you stick to long-course or move over to short-course racing?
I love mixing up my training and definitely have a few achievements to try to complete in long-course, so I will be racing for a long time yet, but I will also be looking at short-course options. I really feel I can be competitive at both distances and I love a challenge so lets see where the schedule takes me.
What are your predictions for how the race will play out on Saturday?
Well the start list seems to be changing a little, so it’s quite hard to predict but it’s possible there could be a small group of three of us coming out of the water pretty close together which will be interesting. From there I will need a strong bike leg and could have Taylor [Knibb] up with me to keep the pace high, which will be needed knowing that Daniela [Ryf] will be hunting us down. From there, if it comes down to a foot race on that course, then for sure it will be a sufferfest and that could be anyone’s game. I feel confident it will be a great race, and as always I will be giving it everything to get into the lead and hold it right to the end of race.