A big disappointment for Lucy Charles – who found out early April that a stress fracture won’t allow her to race the Pho3nix Sub-8 attempt – but joy, on the other hand, for Britain’s Kat Matthews, who will replace her on Jun. 5-6 and try to make history by finishing a Long Distance in less than eight hours. Matthews, who recently won Ironman 70.3 Lanzarote, will battle with Swiss’ Nicola Spirig, who just announced to retire after this big year.
In a press release, Matthews commented: “I’m a relative newbie to the sport, and the iron distance is certainly one where experience is of high benefit. Most would assume I would not be a contender and that achieving this would be impossible. However, as soon as I heard of the attempt, I wanted to be involved. It sparked my interest intellectually as well as physically. I see my sporting endeavors as a case study for constant learning and improvement. I have yet to find a plateau in my physical improvement in any area, and this evolution keeps me right at the edge of passion and motivation for absolute excellence.”
About her biggest and only rival – Spirig – Matthews told Global Triathlon Network (GTN): “Nicola’s accolades in the sport over the last 25 years puts her as a legitimate candidate as the sport’s GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) across both male and female athletes. To race against Nicola here is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I hope to be a worthy contender.”
Chris McCormack, former Ironman World Champion, but also Pho3nix board member, stated: “Kat is a world-class athlete I’ve watched with much interest over the past few years. Getting herself and her ‘tribe’ of pacemakers together in such a short time frame is no mean feat, but she came ready and prepared. Kat has had a long-term alignment with the Sub8 Project: she was in early discussions with Lucy as part of her team, and has also been engaged in a heavy training block with many of the pacemakers over the past six months. This made for a perfect transition into the lead racing role. With Kat’s cerebral and disciplined approach to the sport, I’m excited to see how she will tackle the puzzle that is Sub8 and the new race strategy she will bring in her pursuit to be the first to ‘Defy the Impossible’.”