With the successful conclusion of the Pho3nix Sub7 and Sub8 Project, Powered by Zwift, the Pho3nix Foundation and Mana Global are pleased to announce the winners for the Defy Your Impossible campaign.
Defy Your Impossible took its cue from the initial four athletes who undertook the audacious attempt to Defy The Impossible over the full distance of triathlon: Olympic gold medalists and world champions Alistair Brownlee and Kristian Blummenfelt, dual Olympic medalist Nicola Spirig, and world champion Lucy Charles-Barclay. The campaign aimed to encourage participants of all abilities to set and pursue their own “impossible” challenge over a six-week period, selecting the Sub7 or Sub8 athlete who would support them with personalised messaging to motivate them on their journey.
The Sub7 and Sub8 athletes voted on the participants who achieved their impossible goal and best embodied the ethos of Sub7 and Sub8 in their social media documentation of the journey using the hashtag #DefyYourImpossible.
With all the inspiring submissions from around the world, it became impossible to pick just one. In the end, two participants came out on top.
Kara Tranter nominated completing mountain triathlon The Roc as her “impossible” challenge: a 1500-metre sea swim, 50-kilometre bike leg, an ascent and descent of Mount Snowdon (the second highest peak in the United Kingdom), a return 50-kilometre bike leg, and a 1-kilometre beach run to the finish. She said, “When I saw the Defy My Impossible challenge by Pho3nix, I felt this really fit in perfectly and would help push me to my goals. After suggesting the race to my friends and family they all thought it was a bit too much of a challenge, but that only spurred me on to Defy My Impossible and face up to the mountain.”
With Spirig as her motivational guide, Tranter was able to commit to training, which mostly involved 5:30am indoor turbo rides and runs on Zwift, while juggling a full-time job as a financial controller for a software company and family life raising two young children. She then proceeded not only to complete, but smash her goals to finish the gruelling race in just under 7 hours.
What’s next for Tranter? She is already eyeing a series of races next year which also have incredibly challenging bike and run legs. She also gives back to her community by coaching triathlon and cycling-specific sessions for young athletes, leading ladies-only cycling sessions, and organising events to encourage women to try cycle racing. “My aim is just to be the best version of me and inspire others to challenge their capabilities, too.”
Katrina Kelly had already completed a 22.2-kilometre run, 222 press-ups, and 222-kilometre cycle in 12 hours on her birthday which fell on the once-in-a-lifetime date of 22/2/2022. In searching for a new challenge, she discovered the Defy Your Impossible campaign and set out on another “22”-themed goal: chasing a 5K personal best time of 20 minutes and 22 seconds. Over the following six weeks, messages from Charles-Barclay helped her train with renewed vigour.
“My previous 5K best was 21.49 from last December, but the endurance training meant I had lost quite a bit of speed… Watching all of the teams preparing for the Sub7 and Sub8 attempts was really inspiring though – and made a 5K seem very achievable.” She made her first PB attempt in March at a park run. She had set a modest target hoping to go under 21.25 – and shocked herself and achieved a 20.26.
With a new PB just four seconds off from her 20.22 goal and boosted by watching the Sub7 and Sub8 athletes Defy Their Impossible, Kelly is set for another PB attempt at a track race next week. “I will defy my impossible. I’m going to run 20.22 and I may even set my eyes on the ultimate personal goal for me: a sub-20. I’ve always had that big barrier in my mind, and nothing is going to stop me now.”
The winners will receive a special prize pack from Zwift including branded towels, bottles, caps, and a three-month complimentary membership.