Lucy Charles looks back on a "tough day at the office" at Challenge Roth

Despite a "tough day at the office" that saw her finish just nine seconds out of first, Lucy Charles takes a lot of positives out of her race at Challenge Roth.

| July 5, 2018 | PERSONALITY

Lucy Charles on the run course at Challenge Roth, 2018.

Lucy Charles on the run course at Challenge Roth, 2018.

Photo >Kevin Mackinnon

Lucy Charles arrived at Challenge Roth as the prohibitive favorite, but ended up just a few seconds short of the win. As seems to be the case with many great champions, Charles had lots of positive things to say about her day, despite the fact that she struggled for much of the run. We caught up with last year's Kona runner-up just a few hours after her race in Roth: So how was that?

Lucy Charles: It was a tough day at the office. To be honest I just wanted to get to the finish line – about 2 km in to the run I was dying, so it was more of an accomplishment just to get the finish line and not collapse.

What did you learn from the race? Do you feel like you made your final charge after Daniela (Saemmler, the eventual winner) a bit late?

It was more of a mental game. I feel like it was a big box ticked that I was able to overcome that mental battle of wanting to pull out and carrying on and being able to push at the end, as well.

If I’d gone half a km earlier it probably would have been enough, but there were a lot of other things that I could have done that might change things, but then they might have made things worse. It was nice to have Reece (Barclay, her fiancé and coach) at that last bit to push me on, but it was a little bit too late.

Do you feel the struggles were from the busy schedule you've already had this year?

It’s been a busy season so far. I’m not really sure if it was my nutrition or something like that. At the end of the bike I started to feel really sick and that came into play on the run. At about 28 km I decided I had to dive into the port-o-loo. Once I’d done that I felt a lot better, so I think that helped get me going again. I realized then that I was going to finish, which was a big thing. Again, a lot of lessons learned and maybe I need to revisit my nutrition strategy.

I love to race, so whenever there’s a big race I want to be at it. But I’ll take a week off and set some targets for Kona, as that’s the next big thing. I had done Samorin (the Challenge Championship, where Charles successfully defended her title) and that went really well. Everything had been tailored for the half distance, so it was difficult to back that up coming to this long-distance race after all the shorter, intense stuff, so again that was a good test to see what I could do after training for a half distance.

Do you think you'll take a break from racing now as you gear up for Kona?

I have a wedding to plan – we’re getting married in December, so I have exactly two months after Kona to get everything sorted, so maybe I’ll take a bit of down time to do some wedding planning.

Was there something from the race you feel will help you in Kona?

I’m happy to have that kind of battle. It doesn’t phase me to be running head to head with someone. If it came to that in Kona, I’d be up for that. Bring it on. I think that’s a good thing as well, that mentally I can cope with that.

Does this result give you some motivation now for your training and racing?

I find it really hard after I’ve had a good result to go back to training, because you’re on high and it’s hard to settle yourself and get back into training. I find it much easier if I’ve had a result that I’m not 100 percent happy with because I think that it’s time to knuckle down and get the work done because I never want to feel that again. I think that’s going to help me want to get back to training and work really hard.