After missing out on the Ironman World Championships in St. George earlier this year, Laura Philipp has undoubtedly washed the more than unpleasant taste out of her mouth thanks to the victory she scored today: she just won Ironman Hamburg and with it the European Championships Ironman. The German top athlete did this, however, amidst a field of participants that is actually unworthy of the European Championships.
In total, only eleven women were at the start in Hamburg and among them few big names. Fastest swimmer was anyway the American Chelsea Sodaro, but when she came out of the water after 54:38 minutes, Philipp was immediately in her feet. She was not alone, however, as Manon Genet and Chantal Sainter also came out of the water at the same time and were thus allowed to set off for T1 as a quartet.
On the bike, it soon became clear that the field was not strong enough to make the race really exciting, because Philipp almost immediately rode away from everyone and already had a lead of more than half a minute after nine kilometers. Throughout the 180 kilometers on the bike, this difference in level remained constantly the same; Philipp’s lead only grew and when she returned to T2, Sodaro was already four minutes behind and Genet – who came back third – almost seventeen minutes.
It made for a somewhat flavorless marathon, as there too Philipp continued to increase her lead and little exciting happened. It didn’t make Philipp any less of a European Champion, because when she crossed the finish line after 8:18:20, her European title was more than deserved. Sodaro finished second in a time of 8:36:42 and Genet finished third in 8:52:02.