Kat Matthews to replace Lucy Charles-Barclay for Sub8 challenge

The Pho3nix Foundation has announced that British triathlete Kat Matthews is set to replace Lucy Charles-Barclay for this summer's Sub8 challenge. Here's what you need to know

British triathlete Kat Matthews finishing Ironman Lanzarote

British triathlete Kat Matthews is set to replace the injured Lucy Charles-Barclay for June’s much-anticipated Pho3nix Sub8 project.


Charles-Barclay was due to take on the challenge in June in a year where she’d also be competing in both the rearranged 2021 and the 2022 Ironman World Championships.

However, an MRI scan recently revealed a stress fracture in her hip, meaning she’s out of the first Ironman World Championship in St George, Utah, and the Sub8 project.

Now, the organisers have revealed that Matthews will be stepping in to attempt to go under eight hours over a full-distance triathlon when the challenge takes place in Germany on 5/6 June.

Speaking about the announcement, Matthews said: “I’m a relative newbie to the sport and the iron distance is certainly one where experience is of high benefit. Most would assume I would not be a contender and that achieving this would be impossible.

“However, as soon as I heard of the attempt, I wanted to be involved. It sparked my interest intellectually as well as physically. I see my sporting endeavours as a case study for constant learning and improvement. I have yet to find a plateau in my physical improvement in any area, and this evolution keeps me right at the edge of passion and motivation for absolute excellence.””

Matthews, who’s also a physiotherapist officer in the British Army, only took up triathlon in 2015 and begun racing as a pro in June 2019, but has already become a force to be reckoned with.

In 2020 she placed first at Ironman 70.3 Tallinn, Outlaw X and Ironman Florida, while a further win came in 2021 at Ironman UK. In the same year, she finished second to Daniela Ryf at Ironman Tulsa, fourth at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship and won her heat at the inaugural Collins Cup.

The Brit will be competing alongside Nicola Spirig, who recently announced her intention to retire at the end of the season.

In the men’s Sub7 project, Alistair Brownlee will be going head-to-head with Olympic and World Triathlon champion Kristian Blummenfelt in an attempt to go under seven hours.


Image credit: Ryan Sosna-Bowd/Getty Images