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Last year was awesome. Did you change anything coming in this year, or did you just think: If I could recreate that, that would be perfect?
We [Charles and coach/fiancé Reece Barclay] didn’t really change a lot, to be honest. We just consistently built on everything. It was a case of building from that—we had a good performance, so we knew everything had worked. So it’s a case of making sure we knew what we were doing, not trying to do anything crazy that could maybe get me injured. Previously I’ve gone a bit mad over the winter and tried to do crazy stuff and then I’ve ended up injured, particularly on the run.
What’s it like coming back as a runner-up? (TriathlonWorld)
I think you go to every race with a bit more of a label, with a bit of a target on your back. But I always had that as a swimmer when you had head-to-head battles, so I’m used to that kind of high pressure environment. But it’s quite nice to come in with that label and know that you’re going to have a good battle as well.
You’ve raced her a lot. What makes Daniela special? (Breakfast With Bob)
Daniela is a tough racer, which I like. I’m someone who loves to race and to have a good battle. She’s someone who’s not going to back down to a battle, so I’m looking forward to a good battle here as well.
What is it about this race that seems to agree with you? (Bob)
I like tough races. This race is very honest. It challenges you in every way. You can’t neglect anything, you can’t switch off for a second. It really is the toughest athlete who will win this race.
When did you realize that this sport was good for you? (Bob)
Me and Reece had both gone up and done an open water swim in Scotland and we’d both had a terrible race. So we pretty much went back to the hotel and we both signed up for an Ironman there and then—how hard could it be? We’ve got mountain bikes at home. We soon learned it was a bit more of a challenge than that.