Laura Zimmermann broke the course record as she overhauled Renee Kiley to notch a home victory at IRONMAN Hamburg 2021 on Sunday.
The 31-year-old overtook Aussie Kiley in the closing kilometres of the run to notch victory and claim the first of two qualifying slots for the rescheduled IRONMAN World Championship in Kona next February. Kiley meanwhile claimed the other.
Swim – another Brandon blitz
American Lauren Brandon (47:46) is famed for her terrific swimming talents, and she rocketed out to a lead of more than eight minutes from Carolin Lehrieder and Kiley in second and third.
Zimmermann meanwhile was more than 12 minutes off the pace in fourth, but that deficit would gradually evaporate over the coming hours.
Bike – closing the gap
Brandon spent almost five hours out in front on her own after that monster swim, following it up with a fine performance on the bike.
Lauren (4:44:42) would go into T2 with an advantage of exactly four minutes from Lehrieder (4:40:10). Kiley was still right with Carolin, just a couple of seconds further back after an excellent 4:39:49 ride – the best of the day.
Zimmermann meanwhile had cut into the deficit with a 4:42:06 bike split, but still had plenty to do with 9:35 still to make up.
Run – Zimmermann’s decisive swoop
Brandon’s lead continued to diminish on the first half of the marathon, before she finally gave way to Lehrieder, who herself would soon be passed by Kiley. Now the big threat to the Aussie was the surging Zimmermann.
Kiley still held sway into the final third of the run, but Zimmermann would not be denied – as she explained afterwards: “I was running like hell, I wanted it so much”.
Laura took up the running and surged clear to win in a new course-record time of 8:54:31. That was topped off by an excellent 3:05:43 marathon. Kiley (8:56:48) was a couple of minutes away in second after a 3:12:43 run.
Renee said: “I’m so relieved. I’ve had three bad races in the last few months where things weren’t going to plan. And I’m just so happy to execute a race that I’ve been capable of for three or four months now.
“I felt really good from the start on the run – for the last three races it’s been a death march. Today felt like an Ironman should feel.”
Brandon held on well to claim the final spot on the podium – her 3:20:36 run saw her finish in 9:00:50 – just over six minutes behind Zimmermann. Lehrieder meanwhile eventually came home in fifth, behind Leonie Konczalla.
IRONMAN Hamburg 2021 Results
Sunday August 29, 2021 – 3.8km / 180km / 42.2km
- Laura Zimmermann (GER) 8:54:31
- Renee Kiley (AUS) 8:56:48
- Lauren Brandon (USA) 9:00:50
- Leonie Konczalla (GER) 9:04:14
- Carolin Lehrieder (GER) 9:12:19