The news that Lucy Charles-Barclay was out with a stress fracture meant that in addition to missing the upcoming Ironman World Championship in St. George, the reigning Ironman 70.3 world champion wouldn’t be able to compete in the Sub7 Sub8 project in June.
The Sub7/ Sub 8 project is set to take place at a race track in Germany on either June 5 or 6, depending on weather conditions. Two-time Olympic gold medalist Alistair Brownlee and last year’s Tokyo gold medalist Kristian Blummenfelt will be going after the sub-seven-hour time for a full-distance triathlon (3.8 km swim, 180 km bike and a 42.2 km run), while originally Charles-Barclay and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Nicola Spirig would be attempting to break the eight-hour barrier for the women.
With Charles-Barclay out the event organizers have announced her replacement – Great Britain’s Katrina Matthews. A physiotherapist officer in the British Army, Matthews didn’t start in the sport until 2015, originally competing in sprint events. She did her first half-distance race at Ironman 70.3 Calgary as an age grouper, and within a few years she was competing as a pro athlete as a member of the BMC-Vifit team. She won Ironman Florida in 2020 and was second at Ironman Tulsa and won Ironman UK in 2021. She took fourth at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship last year, too. Her best full-distance time of 8:40:50 makes her the third-fastest British woman at the distance behind Chrissie Wellington (8:18:13 – Challenge Roth, 2011) and Charles-Barclay (8:31:09, Challenge Roth, 2019).
Earlier this year Matthews had a fantastic performance at Ironman 70.3 Lanzarote, beating defending Ironman world champion Anne Haug to take the win.
In addition to her impressive triathlon talent, Matthews won the British National 100-mile Time Trial Championships in 2020, too.
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