Laura Zimmermann from SV Würzburg 05 won the Ironman Hamburg for women. The 31-year-old reached the finish on Rathausmarkt after swimming 3.8 kilometers, cycling 180 kilometers and running 42.2 kilometers in 8:54:31 hours as the fastest.
Carolin Lehrieder, who started in Hamburg with the aim of winning the competition, came in fifth after 9:12:19 hours, although she had been in the lead for a long time.
After swimming in the Inner and Outer Alster, Laura Zimmermann got on the bike with a clear gap of more than twelve minutes on the leader Lauren Brandon. Almost four minutes lay between her and her club colleague Lehrieder, who was second out of the water . After swimming she expected it, said Zimmermann.
Zimmermann takes over the leadership of Lehrieder while running
But at first she didn’t get any closer to her competitors on the bike either. “I didn’t feel like I was having a break-in, so I thought, what’s going on here?” In the meantime, Lehrieder stayed with the leader Brandon and narrowed the gap to the competitor.
Lehrieder started the final marathon in second and Zimmermann in fourth with a deficit. “I know that I am a good runner on the long distance,” said Zimmermann, who was one year younger than me, and caught up with the now leading teaching song.
In the third of the four 10.5-kilometer laps through the city center, she finally took the lead: “When I had a two-minute lead and still ran faster than the others, it was clear to me that it would be enough now. So I could enjoy the last kilometer again. “
With her first Ironman victory, the 31-year-old also qualified for the renowned competition on the US island of Hawaii. “I’m speechless and mega-happy,” she said after the race. “I tried to stick to my plan and be patient.” The runners also got on well with the dingy weather, cold, wind and rain.
Lehrieder disappointed with their result, but with an explanation
One Freud was saddened by the other on that day: “I’m pretty sad because I went to Hamburg with a different destination,” said Lehrieder the day after the race in an interview with this editorial team while they were on the train back from Hamburg Würzburg drove.
Since she was second after both swimming and cycling and pushed past Lauren Brandon into first place in the marathon, she was “on schedule for a long time”. However, the 32-year-old made the cold to create: “Those were tough conditions.” That’s why she drank too little and had problems with her stomach and muscles as a result.
“I actually had the race in my hands. It went as I had imagined. It would definitely have been possible to win,” she said. “But it’s good that I have an explanation for why things turned out differently.” She managed to rethink during the race, not to win, but to want to arrive at the finish.
“Respect and congratulations, Laura! Now two triathletes from SV 05 are qualified for Hawaii,” said Lehrieder happily with her club colleague, who has had her second home in Würzburg again since mid-2020. “That was also because of Corona,” says Zimmermann. “I have better conditions in Würzburg, especially when it comes to swimming, which is why we decided to take an apartment here.” Her partner continues to work in Baiersbronn, she works two days a week in Würzburg as a dentist.
Ironman Hawaii has been postponed, but the uncertainty remains
The Hawaii qualification must now “sink in” and discuss the next steps with her trainer Utz Brenner. After being canceled at short notice this year, the Ironman on the US volcanic island is now set to take place in February 2022. A stroke of luck for Zimmermann, now that she knows that she too can start there. It was originally supposed to take place on October 9th: “That would have been pretty close.”
For Lehrieder, who had already qualified for the Long Distance World Championship at the Ironman in Italy in 2019, and Zimmermann, however, the uncertainty remains as to whether the Ironman in Hawaii can actually be held in February: “After all, it didn’t work last year either”, says Lehrieder. “I just can’t say how things will go on now. Normally you plan until the Ironman. Now I have to think about it in peace.”