Laura Philipp, one of the favourites for the IRONMAN World Championship in St George on May 7, faces a race against time to make the start line in Utah.
The 35-year-old German star has been hugely impressive over the last 12 months, culminating in that comprehensive victory over Daniela Ryf on her seasonal debut at IRONMAN 70.3 Dubai in March and a move to #1 in the PTO world rankings.
But as the countdown to race day in St George approaches fast, she revealed earlier this week that she has been hit by a heavy cold, which means she is battling against time to be able to bid for victory.
Philipp: ‘It’s a nightmare’
Writing in an Instagram post, she had revealed: “I wanted to be in St. George already, but I had to cancel my flight.
“It’s like a nightmare but I have unfortunately caught a serious cold, which is currently keeping me in bed with a high fever. After years of never being sick, I now seem to get everything at once.
“I can’t put my disappointment into words right now and I still hope that there might be a small chance for a start at the World Championships as I worked so hard for this for months.”
And on Friday afternoon she updated her followers with a short Instagram video, saying the fever had receded but plans were still very much up in the air.
She added: “I’m still not sure about my decision. If this wasn’t the World Championships and something I’ve trained for such a long time, I wouldn’t consider [making] this spontaneous trip.
“I’ve worked so hard for this and I feel like it’s a big chance for me. I’m still kind of undecided even though it doesn’t look likes it makes a lot of sense.
“The final decision is not made and I will keep you updated.”
Laura may not have ruled herself out of contention yet, but admitted she now faces a race to both recover well enough to race, and get to the United States with enough time to prepare.
“It will be a battle between how fast I can recover vs. how much time I have left to fly to the USA and be healthy and with enough power for a World Championship race,” she explained.
The women’s race in St George was already wide open this year after the likely favourite Lucy Charles-Barclay was forced to withdraw due to a stress fracture of her hip.