Ironman Hawaii: Haug comes second in the World Championships, Philipp in third place
It’s expected to be a thrilling race. And two German professional triathletes played a big part in it. Anne Haug becomes Ironman vice world champion, Laura Philipp third. A permanent runner-up triumphs.
Smiling with satisfaction, Anne Haug high-fived the spectators in the last few meters of her thrilling race to catch up. Laura Philipp was already grinning well before the finish and kept raising her arms. With second and third place, the two professional triathletes from Bayreuth and Heidelberg secured the first German women’s Ironman double podium at the World Championships in Hawaii.
At the finish in Kailua-Kona, after 3.86 kilometers of swimming, 180.2 kilometers of cycling and 42.2 kilometers of running, Haug and Philipp were only beaten by the British Lucy Charles-Barclay. And yet there was undimmed joy. “This is a mega German result,” Haug told ARD.
After four second places, Charles-Barclay celebrated an impressive victory this time. She had already taken the lead in the swim and never gave it up. She also set a course record in 8:24:31 hours. For Haug, who ran the fastest marathon, it was her first runner-up finish after her own victory in 2019, when she had caught up with Charles-Barclay, and three third places. She is “very tired, very tired, but overjoyed” – and now hopes to find something to eat.
For Philipp, after fourth places in 2019 and a year ago, it was his first podium finish in the first all-women’s World Championship race in Hawaii. “I was very emotional, I had to fight very, very hard,” she said after receiving a warm hug from trainer and husband Philipp Seipp. The men’s title was awarded in Nice just over a month ago.
Haug strong in the water, Philipp’s difficult initial phase
Things couldn’t have gone better for Haug when the traditional cannon shot signaled the start of the race at 6:25 a.m. local time, but for Philipp it could have. But first things first: Charles-Barclay didn’t really want to swim to the front again. She once missed out on taking part in the Olympics as a swimmer, but in triathlon she is in a class of her own in the water. A long field quickly formed behind Charles-Barclay, in which Haug was also able to maintain contact and benefit from the water shadow of the rivals immediately in front of her. On the other hand, Philipp fell behind early – that wasn’t their plan at all.
Haug’s group didn’t stay together either. However, the Bayreuth native kept the pace with her pursuers, who are considered strong cyclists. Haug came out of the water in 18th place, 4:33 minutes behind. For Philipp it was over seven minutes.
Philipp’s race to catch up on the bike, Haug has to let it go
At the front, Charles-Barclay continued to push after the first change and was clearly ahead as they headed onto the legendary Queen Kaahumanu Highway. Haug now benefited from her swimming performance and found herself surrounded by strong cyclists – everything went according to plan. And Philipp did what she had to do to connect with the Haug group. “Ignite the afterburner!” said her coach.
Once caught, Philipp soon moved to the front of the group and then even pulled away. At kilometer 111, Philipp was in fourth place – she had started the bike course in 26th place – almost two and a half minutes ahead of Haug. “It would have been good if she could have gone with Laura,” said Haug’s trainer Dan Lorang, who also coaches Charley-Barclay and was watching the hr television from his dining room. At the front, the Brit, who had not yet completed a long distance in the first half of 2023 after suffering a stress fracture in her foot, continued to run her own race.
The showdown with Haug on the running track
While still in the transition area, Philipp made up another place and started in third place. You are a little more than ten minutes behind the leader. For Haug, in seventh place, it was just over twelve minutes. Both looked strong and their running style was smooth. But there were still over 40 kilometers ahead of us with almost cloudless skies, heat and high humidity. Haug quickly gained further positions and was behind Philipp. At about kilometer 16, Haug passed her, briefly and painlessly.
At just over the half marathon finishing time, Haug was 8:33 minutes behind Charles-Barclay, the American Taylor Knibb was still around two and a half minutes ahead of her. Haug soon had an eye on the Hawaii debutante, who wants to compete in the time trial and triathlon in Paris next year – and then overtook her. Now there were only two questions left: Will Haug also catch up with Charles-Barclay and can Philipp still get past Knibb? Both tried everything, Haug couldn’t do it anymore, Charles-Barclay was still too fast for that. But Philipp finished third and made it onto the podium for the first time.