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A sensational marathon run secured the win at the Ironman European Championship in Finland for our brand ambassador Laura Philipp. That makes her the third professional female athlete from Germany to qualify for a Kona slot for 2021.
Professional triathlete Laura Philipp is the female European Ironman Champion. The 34-year-old emerged triumphant as the European Champion at Saturday’s Kuopio-Tahko event in Finland, taking a clear lead thanks to her incredible running performance. Philipp finished the marathon at the end in just 2:52:45, more than 20 minutes ahead of her closest competitors Jocelyn McCauley and Imogen Simmonds. The three athletes had been neck and neck over the 3.8 kilometres in the water and 180 kilometres on their bikes. Philipp finished the event in 8:38:29 in total. “It’s incredible,” said the winner at the finish line. “I wasn’t expecting to get a time like that on this course. I’m so pleased with my run here!”
The swim in beautiful Lake Syväri gave us a big hint about how the day might end, given that Philipp was setting the pace at the front with McCauley and Simmonds. On the day, the other triathletes could not keep up. “I’m really proud of my swim,” said Philipp later on. “That was probably the first time I’ve felt really happy and confident in the water. I just kept repeating to myself: Keep going! Stay at the front!”
There was nothing between the three athletes during the cycling section in the middle, meaning that it all came down to the marathon. And it was Laura Philipp’s moment of glory. In what was only her third long-distance run, the 14-time Ironman 70.3 Champion made her intentions clear at T2. Neither McCauley nor Simmonds could keep up on the rolling course that was 60% tarmac and 40% gravel trails and they had both fallen ten minutes behind by the halfway point of the marathon.
Meanwhile, Laura Philipp forged ahead unchallenged, securing her second victory over the full distance following her first win back in Barcelona in 2018. “I felt so good on the first round that my trainer shouted at me to slow down,” said the athlete who was by far the strongest runner on the day. It was not until the wind and rain picked up that she had to slow down her pace. If the weather had not affected those last ten kilometres, she would possibly have even managed to run the 42.2 kilometres in under 2:50. But Philipp still had an incredible race that made her a worthy winner of the European Championship title.
“Congratulations – we couldn’t be prouder! What an achievement! Keep pushing!”
A brand ambassador for Ospa since 2016, Laura Philipp advises us on the development of our professional counter-current systems. When preparing to compete at this high level, Laura trains with the Ospa-PowerSwim as she has been doing for years now.