Susie Cheetham takes victory at IRONMAN Hamburg

It's been a slow start to the year for Susie Cheetham, but victory at IRONMAN Hamburg on Sunday suggests she's on track for another top Kona performance

Chief Correspondent
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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.

Susie Cheetham - IRONMAN Hamburg 2019
Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images for IRONMAN

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.

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.

HAMBURG, GERMANY - JULY 28: Kristian Hogenhaug of Denmark celebrates winning Ironman Hamburg on July 28, 2019 in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images for IRONMAN)
Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images for IRONMAN

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.

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

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

Susie Cheetham - IRONMAN Hamburg 2019
Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images for IRONMAN


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)

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.
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