German long-distance triathlon star Laura Phillip is certainly one of the country’s most decorated female triathletes with a double figure total of IRONMAN 70.3 winners’ ribbons on her resumé in addition to three IRONMAN race titles as she headed into 2022.
Born in April 1987, Laura followed an untraditional route into the world of triathlon. Her passion for sports was ignited by climbing in the German Alps prior to her discovering cycling. With her school some 30km away from home, Philipp cycled to-and-from school daily, ultimately upping her pace and becoming quicker than the public transport alternative.
Intrigued by the endurance aspect of cycling, Laura began to couple the chore of walking the dog with exploratory runs – which became longer over time. Following the completion of her studies in physiotherapy, Philipp began to take part in fun runs and soon entered her first triathlon.
Despite falling off her bike, Philipp took victory on her debut at swim/bike/run and she soon became a regular competitor on the Rhein-Neckar-Cup circuit – a triathlon series based in the Ladenburg and Heidelberg areas.
Laura is coached by her husband Philipp, and she earned her first victory on the Challenge Family tour in 2015 and followed it up a year later with two wins on the IRONMAN 70.3 circuit.
Unsurprisingly, Laura’s strongest disciplines are on land, her run and bike splits regularly bring the German into contention for race victories. Swimming is the weakest part of her repertoire but it has come on leaps and bounds as her career has progressed.
She moved to the PTO’s #1 ranked female athlete after a strong start to 2022 and was one of the clear favourites for the rescheduled IRONMAN World Championship at St George only to be ruled out at the start of race week by Covid.
Career record and results
Laura started her career with several domestic victories in 2014 – including triumphs at Transvorarlberg, Römerman, Mußbach, Heidelbergman and Bawü-Liga. She also made her debut on the IRONMAN 70.3 circuit with podiums at Wiesbaden and Rügen.
Challenge Helibronn titles followed in 2015 and 2016, before Laura earned her first two IRONMAN 70.3 victories in Zell am See (Austria) and Mallorca.
2017 was somewhat of a breakthrough year for the German as she cemented herself as one of the best triathletes competing over the middle-distance. A quartet of 70.3 victories – at Zell am See, Mallorca, Kraichgau (Germany) and St. Pölten (Austria) – were coupled with wins at XTERRA France and St Moritz. She also earned victory at the Mainova Frankfurt half marathon. The headline result, perhaps, was a World Championship bronze medal at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship behind Daniela Ryf and Emma Pallant.
Laura’s first win over full distance came complete with a course record (on debut) at IRONMAN Barcelona in 2018. She also took top honours at Rügen, Kraichgau – again in a course record time – and Zell am See for a third successive year.
2019 saw Laura’s first attempt at taking down the ‘Big Island’ as she made her first appearance at the IRONMAN World Championship. After exiting the water just outside the top 10, Philipp produced the fastest bike split of the race (4:45:04) and the seventh fastest marathon (3:02:11) to finish fourth, just three-and-a-half minutes off the podium.
PTO 2020 Championship bronze followed at Daytona in December 2020 before a phenomenal undefeated 2021 with victories at IRONMAN Finland and IRONMAN Austria, as well as a fourth win at 70.3 Zell am See.
Laura Philipp and family
As previously mentioned, Laura is coached by her husband Philipp Seipp, who also trains fellow German triathlete Sebastian Kienle among others.
She credits one of her major rituals to her mother’s baking – Laura eats a slice of cake every day and credits that to her mother’s cake-making abilities during her childhood.
Laura Philipp gear
Laura wears a Sailfish swimsuit in the water, partners with Canyon on the bike and uses New Balance as her preferred choice on the run. She currently uses the Canyon Speedmax bike frame – which helped her go undefeated during the 2021 season.
Laura eats a non-meat diet and works with environmental firm hep global. Other partnerships include Soprema, Ospa, Castrelli, Schwalbe, Azm, Form, Atos, Swiss Side, uvex and Aktimed.
Laura was also one of the first female triathletes to adapt her training regime around her menstrual cycle to achieve a higher level of performance.