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December 30, 2020

Ignoring the pain: Laura Philipp fights off cramp to claim third in Daytona

As Laura Philipp crossed the finish line at the PTO 2020 Championship at CHALLENGEDAYTONA® she called out for confirmation of her position, and the German was left delighted as someone confirmed she had secured third place.

She joined compatriot Anne Haug on the podium earning $50,000 in prize money – a fitting reward for an incredible performance as she excelled as part the strongest line-up ever assembled at a triathlon starting line.

Philipp was forced to battle through the pain barrier as she finished the bike leg, and even had doubts about her chances of finishing towards the top end of the field – let alone on the podium.

“Really amazing, I didn’t know I was third, I just kept on pushing,” she commented following the race. “I had very bad cramps after the bike so I didn’t even believe that I would make the top 10.

“I’m just super proud of my legs, of my head, and third place is amazing.”Ignoring the pain: Laura Philipp fights off cramp to claim third in Daytona

A valuable experience

Philipp was ecstatic with her podium finish but was keen to highlight the intense struggles herself and the athletes faced when preparing for and competing in such a high-level event.

“This race was insane,” she stated on Instagram after the race. “Crazy strong field, a lot of speed, pain and struggle involved but I am definitely over the moon about my bronze medal.

“Heads up to everyone who had to drop out today, this race was definitely a real challenge for the body.”

Philipp also expressed her gratitude for the experience of competing in Florida, with the medal and prize money coming as an added bonus for the 33-year-old.

“I will bring home a big smile, the best prize money I ever earned and a lot of gratefulness to have had this experience!”Ignoring the pain: Laura Philipp fights off cramp to claim third in Daytona

Importance of mental strength

It was a battle of mental strength for Philipp, especially after she recorded a time of 26:55 in the swim – leaving the German with plenty to do over the next two disciplines.

An exceptional performance on the bike – fourth fastest in the field behind Paula Findlay, Lisa Norden and Kimberley Morrison – brought the eight-time IRONMAN 70.3 race winner back into contention.

She followed it up with the fourth fastest run split, breaking the 68-minute barrier for the 18km distance – overtaking a number of athletes to secure the podium place.

After clocking a time of 3:30:00 over the 100km course, Phillip admitted she had to ignore calls from her body to slow down – something she has become accustomed to doing.

“The moment when the pain kicks in and you can’t ignore it anymore is the moment when you should know your WHY,” she expressed on social media after the race.Ignoring the pain: Laura Philipp fights off cramp to claim third in Daytona

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