She was considered one of the race favorites – especially after she beat Daniela Ryf by breaking the Ironman 70.3 World Record in Dubai – but at the last moment COVID-19 got in the way of Laura Philipp and competing at the Ironman World Championship St. George. “My shape was the best I’ve ever had and for some unlucky reason I caught COVID-19, and it stopped me from competing”, Philipp says in a recent video, where she shares an update on her health.
“When we decided that we won’t enter the plane, we still had the hope that a few days later, maybe when my test turns out negative again, we could still make it”, Philipp takes us back. “Of course, this is not something I would put on the table if it’s just some preparation race, but because I prepared for months and worked so hard for this world championship race, I still wanted to believe there was a chance I could make it”, she explains.
As soon as Philipp had to make the call not to board the plane, her symptoms worsened. “It hit me hard: I got a high fever, a very bad headache, and I couldn’t leave the bed for two or three days.” Obviously, it wasn’t only physical pain, maybe even more so mentally. “I had to accept that I wasn’t going to race St. George… That was a really low point. I’m still super frustrated and sad about it. This was my big goal. With a challenging course, a wetsuit swim and a hilly bike and run, this could have been my chance of having a really strong performance. I felt ready, but I had to let go of that big goal and dream.”
Fortunately, Philipp is healthy again and getting back into training again. She explains what her last weeks were like in the video below.