We still don’t know when and where its going to happen, but we have learned that popular cycling platform Zwift has come on board as another sponsor of the Sub7 and Sub8 Project that will feature Lucy Charles-Barclay, Kristian Blummenfelt, Alistair Brownlee and Nicola Spirig trying to break seven and eight hours for a full-distance triathlon.
This won’t be the first record-setting effort that Zwift has sponsored – last summer the company served as the title sponsor of the Tri-Battle Royale that featured Jan Frodeno and Lionel Sanders.
Officially the event will be titled the “Pho3nix Sub7 and Sub8 Project Powered by Zwift.” The Pho3nix Foundation “is a not-for-profit organization created to promote physical activity as a way to improve the health and wellbeing of children, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.”
Like Sanders and Frodeno, at three of the Sub7 and Sub8 participants (Charles-Barclay, Brownlee and Blummenfelt) are all regulars on the Zwift platform.
“We are delighted to be a part of this extraordinary event and support these athletes on their journey,” says Eric Min, Zwift CEO and co-founder. “We’re immensely proud that so many of the world’s professional triathletes choose to train on Zwift. In this event every second will count towards breaking the ambitious targets. We are confident that Zwift will play a significant part in helping the four athletes to achieve their goals whilst having some fun along the way.”
The Sub7 and Sub8 project will be run in a similar fashion to the Nike Sub-2 project from a few years ago in which three Nike sponsored athletes ran a paced-effort on an Italian track to try and run a marathon in under two hours. Brownlee, Charles-Barclay, Blummenfelt and Spirig will all be allowed to use pace setters and their own support team to try and set the new full-distance standards.
The release about the new sponsorship doesn’t include any details on when the race will take place, other than to confirm that it will take place in 2022. Scheduling the event will certainly be a challenge – Blummenfelt was given a wild-card invitation to the Ironman World Championship that has now been moved to St. George, Utah next May and, thanks to his 7:21 effort in Cozumel last weekend, will also have a spot at the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, next October. Charles-Barclay will be a favourite at both of those events, too, and has also expressed an interest in trying to qualify for the 2024 Olympics. Brownlee will also be a favourite at the two Ironman worlds, too, especially if he’s bounced back from the ankle injury that sidelined him in his quest for a spot at the Tokyo Olympics this year.
Zwift’s involvement, though, appears to confirm that the event will happen sometime next year. We’ll look forward to getting more details.