Olympic gold and silver medalist Nicola Spirig has joined the Sub8 Project and set her sights on shattering the iron distance world record. The Swiss superstar is intent on not only surpassing the 8:18:13 mark that has stood for nearly a decade, but on creating an entirely new standard of what is possible with the first sub 8-hour time.
Not long ago, completing the iron distance in under nine hours was rarefied air. That mark is no longer the standard, with the number of female sub-nine finishes snowballing in recent years. In fact, all but one of the top 10 fastest iron distance times in history have been achieved over the past decade. As the time has dropped, going under eight hours has slowly become a question not of if, but when… and more importantly, who?
With a career highlighted by Olympic gold in London and silver in Rio, as well as six European titles, Spirig is a powerhouse of triathlon who has dominated ITU triathlon across the globe for more than 20 years. She is a very good chance to be selected for Tokyo 2021, making her the only triathlete ever to race in five Olympic Games.
Alongside her Olympic efforts, Spirig boasts a long-course pedigree that would put many of today’s iron distance stars to shame. She won her debut iron distance race in Cozumel over one of the hottest and toughest courses in the world, and has never finished off the podium in a half distance race with 11 wins, three second places, and one third. She is also a world-class marathon runner who has twice claimed second at the Zurich Marathon, and once ran a blistering 2.37 at the Marathon European Championships.
As well as backing the Sub8 Project, the Pho3nix Foundation is also supporting the Kids Cup by Nicola Spirig which organises races appropriate for children throughout Switzerland and raises funding to bring more children access to sport.
“I am looking forward to this project, even if it will be an unbelievable challenge,” says Spirig. “But it is just as important that I can remain true to the sport and we can continue to expand the Kids Cup by Nicola Spirig. Our greatest concern is to get the children involved in sports.”