Germany’s Laura Philipp sent a clear message that she’s looking to improve on her fourth-place finish in Kona in 2019 with a screaming-fast win at Ironman Finland Kuopio-Tahko on the weekend.
Philipp took the race, which was also the women’s Ironman European Championship in 8:38:29, almost 21 minutes ahead of American Jocelyn McCauley, who took second in 8:59:26. Switzerland’s Imogen Simmonds rounded out the podium in 9:02:52.
“It’s amazing,” Philipp said after the race. “I didn’t expect this time on this course. As soon as I entered the lake this morning, I had a good feeling about this race. It’s been an amazing day. I was confident with my swim and felt really comfortable througout. I just thought to give it a try and stay in the front and I am really proud of how that turned out. The bike was amazing, and the run course even better. I felt super good on the first lap, I heard my husband say to slow down but then I thought let him talk. Then the wind and rain picked up and I just thought to myself ‘bring it home’, and I did. I am super happy.”
There were about 1,000 age group athletes competing in the race and half of them were competing in their first Ironman event.