Hamburg (dpa/lno) – How fast would Laura Philippe have if the transitional zones of Iron Man in Hamburg weren’t so long? Or if you didn’t have to go to the toilet when you switched from biking to walking? When the 35-year-old crossed the finish line of 3.8 km of swimming, 180 km of cycling and 42.195 km of running on Sunday at the municipal market in the Hanseatic city, it was 8:18:20 behind her name – the second best time by a woman across this distance.
“Of course victory and such a time inspires me,” said the Heidelberg native. “I wouldn’t have thought it was possible on this track.” The fact that she successfully defended her title at the European Championships was almost irrelevant given her performance.
In races under the Ironman brand, no woman has been faster than Philip, who hails from Bad Pyrmont. British triathlon legend Chrissy Wellington only reached the finish line seven seconds earlier at Ruth in the 2011 Challenge Series over the same distance.
Philip may have lost those seven seconds by going to the toilet. “At some point in such a long day you have to kill yourself,” she said. It took a little time. “But of course I felt better after that.”
When comparing the 11-year-old Wellington’s world record, Philip also referred to the roughly one-kilometre transitional zone in Hamburg. It was the course “with the longest change I know of,” she later wrote on Instagram. On the other hand in Roth, change takes “about a minute”.
But the bottom line is that Philip’s performance on the fast track in Hamburg was impressive. She had no serious competition. American second-placed Chelsea Sodaro made her Ironman debut at Rathausmarkt with a time of 8:36:42, more than 18 minutes after her German debut.
What was most surprising of Philip’s time was her apparent looseness and lightness, especially on the running track. After a short period of recovery, she still had the strength to run up and down the finish line again and hit five with the spectators. “It was so tiring,” she said with a smile. “I’m dubbing it professionally now.”
A performance like this in Hamburg was almost out of the question a month ago. At the beginning of May, she had to cancel her participation in the Ironman World Championships in St. George, Utah, which was made up in 2021 due to infection with the Corona virus. “It was a kind of revenge for not being able to participate in the World Cup,” she said after her victory in Hamburg. Just a week before the European Championships, she won the Ironman 70.3 race in Kraishgau, half the time. The fourth-place finisher at the 2019 World Cup in Hawaii has decided in no time to start in Hamburg.
Philip posted on Instagram: “I am so proud of my body, my mind and my team for this achievement! I can’t wait for the end of the season.” The highlight of the remainder of the season is the classic in Hawaii with the 2022 World Cup on October 6. Anne Haug became the world champion there for the first time in 2019. Over time, Philippe cemented her place in the close circle of favorites at her first show in Hamburg.
Philip’s performance was the best advertisement for Iron Man in the Hanseatic City. For the first time, the title EM was awarded in the fifth edition. The European Men’s Championship has always been a part of Iron Man in Frankfurt/Main, this year on June 26.
According to the information, 100,000 people lined up along the road in Hamburg. 2,700 runners participated in the triathlon ordeal. Philip praised her special moments in Hamburg during the race. “Swimming was really cool with the sunrise, with the light. Especially in the Outer Ulster and under the bridges, that was great,” she said. When running, the only thing that bothered them a bit were the tight turning points. “But the audience really set their feet here.”
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220605-99-555370 / 4