With only two months to go until the Pho3Nix Project Sub7 and Sub8, the tension slowly starts to rise for Kristian Blummenfelt, Alistair Brownlee and Nicola Spirig. The latter now shares an update about her recovery since the bike crash. Spirig also announced who will be pacing her to a sub-8 time on Jun. 5. Unfortunately, Lucy Charles won’t take part in the sub-8 attempt, as she struggles with a big injury. The organization has yet to appoint a replacement.
During the entire race, athletes can make use of twelve pacers. Spirig mentioned to use only one pacer during the swim part. That will likely be German world champion on the 25K open water swim, Angela Maurer.
“It will come down to the last six km”
Spirig’s coach Brett Sutton may not be interested in finish times, he does like a battle. Therefor, Sutton mainly hopes to see Spirig beat her opponent. “The hardest part for Nicola will be that she’s going to be behind for likely 7.5 hours of the race. She is going to have to handle that mentally. She needs to concentrate on what she does. I think it will come down to the last six km.” For the run, Spirig has appointed Swiss Olympic marathon runner Maja Neuwenschwander as a pacemaker.
“Two steps back”
“The biggest concern at the moment is the lung; that the little hole that’s in it, heals”, Spirig says about her injuries. “If I breathe too heavily, if I do too intense and too much training, the hole will not heal. It’s like a normal wound. This affects my training for the next few weeks. The collarbone will need about six weeks to heal until I can swim properly again. The lung we will have to see. I will get another CT next Wednesday, in a week, we will see how it heals.”
“I will have to go two steps back instead of a step forward. We have to have a lot of good ideas to keep the training up at the moment and to catch up with the volume as soon as possible. But I’ve had a career of like 30 years. I’ve had setbacks before. For me the focus is to come back, to rise like a phoenix, to fight and to do my best to be at the Sub-8 project and be in the best shape possible.”