Laura Philipp sets fastest-ever women’s Ironman time

On a day of startling records, Germany's Laura Philipp sets one of her own at Ironman Hamburg...

Laura Philipp races at Ironman Hamburg

The weekend may have been dominated by Sub7 and Sub8, but Kat Matthews, Kristian Blummenfelt and co weren’t the only ones setting records yesterday.

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Racing at the Ironman European Championship in Hamburg, German Laura Philipp defended her European crown and set the fastest-ever women’s time at an Ironman event.

Her time of 8:18:20 saw her finish a remarkable 18 minutes ahead of second-place finisher Chelsea Sodaro (USA) and miss out on Chrissie Wellington’s iron-distance race record by just seven seconds, which was set at Challenge Roth in 2011.

How the race unfolded

Conditions were ideal in Hamburg, with bright sunshine and calm waters. Four athletes were neck-and-neck throughout the 3.8km swim, with Philipp, Sodaro, Manon Genet (FRA) and Chantal Sainter (GBR) exiting together after 54 minutes.

The bike saw the athletes take to the city’s streets and surrounding countryside, and it’s here that Philipp started to ease away from the field.

By the end of the first 90km lap the German had built up a three-minute lead over Sodaro, which stretched to four minutes as she reached T2. By this time, the rest of the field had dropped off significantly.

The four-lap run course was where Philipp really put the power down, increasing her lead lap after lap and eventually crossing the finish line in that fantastic time of 8:18:20.

Best of the rest

Sodaro took second with a time of 08:36:42, while third-place Genet was a further 15 minutes back (8:52:02). Britain’s Sainter eventually finished in fifth with a time of 09:01:50.

Philipp’s incredible result comes just a month after she was a DNS at the Ironman World Championship in St George after battling a cold and coming down with Covid-19.

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Top image credit: Alexander Scheuber/Getty Images for Ironman