Ironman star Lucy Charles-Barclay is taking a step to some much shorter-distance racing with the announcement that she’ll compete at the Super League Triathlon (SLT) Arena Games in London (March 27) and Rotterdam (April 18).
“I have decided to race the SLT Arena Games mainly because I want to test myself in the shorter distance,” Charles-Barclay said in a press release from SLT today. “I have always had that question mark there having gone straight into long course, so it will be interesting to see how I fare against some of the best girls on the World Triathlon circuit.”
She’ll get her wish, for sure – included in the Arena Games field is reigning World Triathlon world champion (the one-off sprint event in Hamburg last year served as the world championships) Georgia Taylor-Brown. Charles-Barclay came close to making Great Britain’s Olympic squad in long-distance swimming before turning her sights on triathlon. She was the fastest age-grouper at the Ironman World Championship in 2015, then turned pro in 2016 and won her first Ironman event in Lanzarote in 2017. She’s gone on to win more full-distance races in South Africa and Roth, and finished second in Kona three times.
“I expect the event to be absolutely brutal in terms of being painful, fast and furious racing,” Charles-Barclay continues. “Each round will be 15 minutes of hell, three times, so it will be an absolute sufferfest but that is what I enjoy most with racing and going all in and seeing what happens.”
“I also think that whilst we can’t have crowds watching the event this time around, this kind of event could be massive for having huge crowds watching us,” says the three-time Kona runner-up. “Despite not having crowds I think there will be an amazing atmosphere between the athletes and all of us suffering and battling it out head to head so I am looking forward to that.”
The Arena Games events consist of a 300 m swim in a 50 m pool, along with a 4 km bike and a 1 km run completed on the Zwift platform. The order of the events is shuffled for each race.
Included in the women’s field for the Arena Games are: Lucy Charles-Barclay, Georgia Taylor-Brown, Sophie Coldwell, Kate Waugh, Ruth Astle, Beth Potter, Helen Jenkins, Alice Betto, Ilaria Zane, Anna Godoy.