Second career IRONMAN title for Susie Cheetham in Hamburg
Debut IRONMAN title for Denmark’s Kristian Hogenhaug
It’s been an interesting (but different) year so far for Great Britain’s Susie Cheetham. Returning to the top of the podium on Sunday at IRONMAN Hamburg (and collecting $15,000, and breaking nine hours in the process), will provide just the incentive needed for the final build towards the 2019 IRONMAN World Championship. Sixth in Kona in both 2015 and 2017, she has the ability to at least match those performances again.
From cutting her feet to shreds at Challenge Lisboa (bloody photo HERE!), to second two weeks ago at IRONMAN 70.3 Astana in Kazakhstan, it’s been steady progress to top form and fitness after a slower start to the year, highlighted on Sunday by strong performances across all disciplines.
The non-wetsuit swim saw her emerge from the Alster four minutes behind Caroline Steffen (SUI) and Julia Gajer (GER), but from there she powered toward the front of the race. Taking the lead shortly after the halfway mark she then built a T2 lead of almost three minutes over Gajer, thanks to a 4:46:57 bike split, the best of the race. Steffen was 5:34 back on arrival at transition with the fast-running Sarah Piampiano (USA) still a danger in fourth, ten minutes back.
As expected, Piampiano made ground on Gajer and Steffen over the opening 10km, but Cheetham was matching her pace almost to the second, still maintaining that ten minute margin over the American with 32km remaining. At halfway, Cheetham still lead with Gajer second (+5:37), but now Piampiano was up to third (+8:02). The gap was closing, but not quick enough should it remain at that rate.
Into the final kilometre and Piampiano had continued her progress to hold second, but the Brit still had a five minute margin and was running well. Cheetham maintained her rhythm, finished with a 3:03:56 marathon to take the win by just over two and a half minutes, with Piampiano setting the fastest run time, 2:56:21. Julia Gajer completed the podium with a 3:12:31 marathon.
#IMHamburg Susie Cheetham coming home for the win! pic.twitter.com/iqyXxcRfpZ
— IRONMANLive (@IRONMANLive) July 28, 2019
The men’s race win went to Kristian Hogenhaug (DEN). Two minutes down on the leaders after the swim – Michael and Andreas Raelert (GER), Ruedi Wild (SUI), Horst Reichel (GER) and Paul Schuster (GER) – the dane closed the gap to the leaders by halfway, before pulling clear in the final third of the bike to reach T2 (via a 4:17:29 bike split), almost four minutes clear of Andreas Raelert, Wild and Schuster.
While his advantage was reduced slightly during the first half of the run by Ruedi Wild, the Dane ran strong in the second half of the marathon and was never caught, eventually extending his advantage to five minutes at the finish, via a 2:54:03 marathon.
After wins at the Outlaw Half Nottingham (HERE), Outlaw Half Holkham (HERE) and Kona qualifying at IRONMAN Brasil, Will Clarke was hoping to challenge for the win in Hamburg, but it wasn’t to be his day at the venue where he finished fourth last year.
It wasn’t to be at Ironman Hamburg. One race too far I think and couldn’t wing it so I pulled out after struggling through the swim and 90k of biking with nothing in the tank. It’s been a great first half of the year otherwise, just need some rest now before the Kona build.
— Will Clarke (@Theclarke) July 28, 2019
British Age-Group results
The race, as you would expect, was dominated by German athletes but there were a couple of GB Age-Group podiums:
- Jennifer Wood, F45-49 – 1st
- Paul Lunn, M45-49 – 3rd
I don’t have the words to describe how it feels to achieve a goal. Last year I told coach @Theclarke I wanted to qualify for Kona 2019. And yesterday we did it in Hamburg.Thanks coach for believing in me and a bonus for me you were there to shout me round 😃 #happy 📸 @Theclarke pic.twitter.com/hU2Imcrr9U
— Jennifer Wood 🌸 (@TheRealJenWood) July 29, 2019
IRONMAN Hamburg, Germany – Sunday 28th July 2019
3.8km / 180km / 42.2km
1st – Susie Cheetham (GBR) – 8:58:02
2nd – Sarah Piampiano (USA) – 9:00:42
3rd – Julia Gajer (GER) – 9:09:39
4th – Caroline Steffen (SUI) – 9:19:28
5th – Martina Kunz (SUI) – 9:29:03
1st – Kristian Hogenhaug (DEN) – 8:11:26
2nd – Ruedi Wild (SUI) – 8:16:34
3rd – Paul Schuster (GER) – 8:24:25
4th – Arnaud Guilloux (FRA) – 8:29:14
5th – Philipp Mock (GER) – 8:35:11
DNF – Will Clarke (GBR)
Your #IMHamburg men’s podium! pic.twitter.com/LWSaHRKZBF
— IRONMANLive (@IRONMANLive) July 28, 2019