Things are picking up as we get deeper into Race Week. With the countdown clock at T-minus three days, the athletes continue to dial in what they believe can bring them success on race day.
Four-time triathlon world champion Chris “Macca” McCormack broke down the run leg in a video on @pho3nixlife. He said, “You swim and ride for show but you run for dough and the run course here is super fast. The athletes are going to get off this 180k bike ride. When you speak to the athletes they’re saying the fatigue from this bike is much more amplified than in the ironman races they’re doing because of the rev range… We’ve got some of the best marathon runners pacing the athletes on the men’s and women’s sides. I think the damage will be done in the second half of the marathon.” He adds, “That’s when the pacers are going to come into play. We’re going to see whether they can Defy The Impossible.”
With training sessions done for the day, the athletes headed into the official press conference to answer the vital question once again: Why are they doing this?
Nicola Spirig, set to retire from triathlon at the end of the year, said, “To be the first one to break eight hours, of course, sporting-wise would be a huge success. I wouldn’t compare it with my other successes because becoming Olympic champion and things like that is completely different. And my biggest achievements are my three kids. So that’s unbeatable anyway. So I will be happy if I break the 8 hours or not, but it would be a good way to go out of the sport.”
Kat Matthews revealed that the team element of Sub8 sparked her interest. “I’ve come from team sports. And my background is also with the army and as a physiotherapist. So communication, teamwork, that sort of loyalty, everything that goes as a team is my bread and butter, my passion. And now triathlon is my profession and career. And so this event merges the two in a way that I don’t think we have ever seen, and I’m not sure if we will ever see again.”
Afterwards they adjoined to the Zwift Room for a 45-minute virtual social ride with fans and supporters from around the world all logged into Zwift. As they pedaled, Zwift’s Tim Don asked crowdsourced questions such as: What food and drink will you have during the race?
Kristian Blummenfelt replied, “Just drinking Red Bull to get that energy… And then a lot of Maurten.”
And just to show off, Joe Skipper hit 1121 watts before the cool down.