Introducing the 2021 IRONMAN European Champion ... Laura Philipp! (Getty Images for IRONMAN)

A calm beautiful morning set the stage for the 2021 women’s IRONMAN European Championship in Kuopio-Tahko, Finland. The day saw Laura Philipp (GER) crossing the finish line first in the women’s PRO race, claiming victory at the inaugural IRONMAN Finland Kuopio-Tahko.

Athletes started off the swim in calm conditions with the water temperature reaching 20.3 degrees Celsius, and the air temperature at 16 degrees Celsius at the start of the race and rising to 19 degrees Celsius, despite heavy rain during the afternoon in Tahko, Finland.

Laura Philipp (GER) won the Women’s PRO IRONMAN European Championship in style, setting the first course record with a time of 08:38:29. With Jocelyn McCauley (USA) and Imogen Simmonds (CHE) completing the podium in second and third places respectively, both qualifying for the 2021 IRONMAN World Championship scheduled for September 17 – 18.

Laura Philipp shares her excitement after a brilliant race: “It’s amazing. I didn’t expect this time on this course. As soon as I entered the lake this morning, I had a good feeling about this race. It’s been an amazing day. I was confident with my swim and felt really comfortable througout. I just thought to give it a try and stay in the front and I am really proud of how that turned out. The bike was amazing, and the run course even better. I felt super good on the first lap, I heard my husband say to slow down but then I thought let him talk. Then the wind and rain picked up and I just thought to myself ‘bring it home’, and I did. I am super happy.”

In addition to the exciting PRO field, the event saw approximately 1000 international athletes take part, of which 50% were competing in their first full distance IRONMAN event.

Age-grouper, Juuso Manninen, also produced a memorable performance winning the Men’s category in 08:42:39. Winning the title of Finnish National Long-Distance Champion, which is another title he can add to his collection after winning the IRONMAN 70.3 Finland age-group event last month in Lahti. Tiina Pohjalainen wins the Finnish National Long-Distance Championship in the age-group women’s category, finishing in 9:15:42.

For results and more information on IRONMAN Finland Kuopio-Tahko, visit the event website: www.ironman.com/im-finland