Interview: Hawaii medalist Philipp hopes for cake at the finish line

Hawaii medalist Philipp hopes for cake at the finish line

Triathlete Laura Philipp in Hamburg. photo

© Georg Wendt/dpa

Laura Philipp wants to be there when the top favorites go wrong. She herself is also one of the best in the Ironman. She only learned to swim at 24. In a dpa interview, she explains why.

Laura Philipp can afford it. A piece of cake a day is a must. She burns a lot of calories.

In Hawaii, she will fight for a World Cup medal this Thursday (start: 18:25 CET/ZDF live stream from 18:15) if all goes well. 3.86 km swimming, 180.2 km cycling and 42.2 km running.

This year she completed the distance faster than any woman before at an Ironman. In an interview with the German press agency, the future TSG 1899 Hoffenheim athlete also talks about her passion for cake, football and triathlon.

Question: Your motto is: Faster with cake: where does the daily appetite for a piece come from? Answer: I was born with it. My parents, especially my mother, are also cake lovers. And so it is actually a tradition in our family that there is always a cake. And although there are only four of us, a whole cake, no matter what it is, usually doesn’t last more than a day. And yes, fortunately neither of us have weight issues, so we are lucky to be able to treat ourselves every day. Question: Let’s say you win the title. What ideal reward would there be as a cake afterwards? Answer: I’m actually waiting for the race, where I’ll get a cake if I win on the finish line or behind it. It will definitely be great. I want either a Carrot or Hummingbird cake. Question: You are competing for fourth place in the 2019 edition, world record holder in Ironman and 70.3 Ironman, and many other achievements. How realistic is a win in Hawaii? Answer: There is so much that needs to come together that it’s hard to say how realistic it is. I think I am now one of the best at the Ironman distance. And if everything comes together for me and my body can handle the heat that day, then it’s okay. But of course, in no other race is the competition so high. And I wouldn’t see myself as the top favorite for victory here. But I will be there if one of the top favorites has a bad day Question: You are not the only German professional athlete. Can there be synergies along the way and that you can benefit from each other? Answer: Of course it would be nice if synergies were created not only with the German athletes, but also with other athletes in general. For me, this would not only apply to cycling, but also to swimming. Having a good group there would be great just to lose some time at the top. But it is difficult to plan. There will also be no collusion. So I have to hope that certain things will come up in the race and that I will instinctively react well to the situation. Question: Such a long race always has difficult moments. Added to this are the climatic conditions. Is there anything before the race that you are really afraid of? Answer: I think everything that can make an Ironman difficult, which is already difficult, comes together here in Hawaii. The heat, the humidity, wind and mountains and of course a top class starting field. So you can say that the race here is the toughest in the world that our triathletes can conquer. And I try to prepare as best I can, but I also know that a lot can go wrong here on a bad day Question: Did your cancellation at the World Cup in Utah due to Corona make you greedy – or let’s say a little more moderate – your desire to Hawaii and increase a success again? Answer: Of course. I think I almost couldn’t have picked a ‘better’ year to miss the race. The chance to participate in a World Cup twice in one year is unlikely to exist again in the future. And even though I would have liked to have taken the opportunity to try a World Championships on another track, I am very happy that I have the chance here in October Question: Why did you actually only learn to swim when you were 24? At least that’s what they say on their homepage. Answer: Yes, that’s a good question. I would like to pass this on to my parents. They would probably say the child didn’t want to go in the water. And you had to hit her in the bath. No, kidding aside. Where I grew up, there was no swimming pool nearby. There was no swimming club, and I had no friends who swam in any way. That’s why somehow it didn’t work out and that’s why it took a few years before I even had the idea that it would be fun to learn to swim. Question: How do you rate the fact that professional women and professional men compete separately this year, but also next year? Answer: Basically, I think it’s positive if we women get our own race, which creates a much fairer course of the race. Of course, this also gives us more media attention. Nevertheless, I’m very excited to see how it will work out here in Hawaii. Logistically, it is certainly a big challenge to have such a big race in such a small place on two consecutive days. I also think it is courageous to already put it this way for next year. I might have tried it a year from now.

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Question: You sometimes train at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and will also start for the club in the future. Do the soccer players look at you strangely when they go through their program? Answer: At first, there is not really much contact with the professional soccer players. The sports are also very different. But I have a lot of respect for the performance the boys bring. I think they think the same about me. It’s something completely different from what I do.

Question: Will there be a piece of cake before the start? Answer: I’d rather eat porridge than a piece of cake. But like I said, I’m hoping for a whole cake at the finish line.

About the person: Laura Philipp is 35 years old and comes from Heidelberg. She had to cancel her start at the catch-up world cup in May due to a corona infection. In Hamburg she then finished at the European Championships in 8:18:20 hours – a record.




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