Five takeaways from Ironman Copenhagen

Anne Haug blasted to a new German full-distance record, but that was just one of the many stories from Ironman Copenhagen on the weekend.

| August 20, 2019 | NEWS

Anne Haug didn\'t just validate her Kona slot, she set a new German long-distance record in winning Ironman Copenhagen.

Anne Haug didn't just validate her Kona slot, she set a new German long-distance record in winning Ironman Copenhagen.

Photo >Getty Images for Ironman

Ironman Copenhagen and Ironman Kalmar-Sweden alternate pro fields every year - one year they host the men, the next it's the women's turn. This year Ironman Copenhagen hosted an impressive women's field, which delivered some exciting results. Here are five takeaways from the day of racing:

1. Anne Haug is back ...

And is very much a Kona contender. After spending much of the year injured, Anne Haug arrived in Copenhagen simply needing a finish to nail down her Kona slot. The German Olympian did much more than that - she set a new German long-distance record with her 8:31:32 clocking. Germany has always been a long-distance hotbed, especially for the men, but it's time to start paying attention to the talented crop of women who will be descending on Kona, too. Last year Daniela Bleymehl set a new German record with her win in Roth, only to see that broken by Laura Philipp in her Ironman debut in Barcelona. Haug's introduction to the sport included a third place finish at both the Ironman European Championship in Frankfurt and in Kona. Now she's shown that she isn't just capable of podium finishes at big races, she can also go plenty fast.

2. Don't every count out Camilla Pedersen

Earlier this year we wrote about Camilla Pedersen's incredible comeback - in 2013, fresh off a big win in Frankfurt, she was in a bike accident and had to be put into an induced coma. She's come back to racing after the accident, but still has issues that make racing, well, let's say, a challenge. She has to stop eating the day before the race in order to avoid stomach issues and, on race day, can only take in 1.5 litres of liquid. Despite those limitations, Pedersen managed to stay ahead of Haug for much of the bike and would finish second overall in an impressive 8:49.

3. Persistence pays off for Stage Nielsen

Earlier this year Maja Stage Nielsen, the former golf pro turned triathlete who has racked up some impressive results in her short career, finished second at Ironman Lanzarote, missing a Kona slot. Her third-place finish in Copenhagen was enough to get her the chance to compete in Kona again as Haug just had to validate her spot and Pedersen had already qualified thanks to her runner-up finish in Wales last year.

4. Nothing stops Angela Naeth.

Absolutely nothing. In May Naeth broke her wrist, had surgery, then raced Ironman Boulder wearing a brace just a few weeks later, but ended up having to pull out 21 miles into the run. After that race she had to have another surgery on the wrist - this time she had five-pounds worth of steel to haul around for a few weeks afterwards to make sure the wrist heeled properly. Somehow she managed to bounce back from that to race Ironman Canada in Whistler, only to crash on the bike and bruise her ribs. Naeth managed to overcome all of that to nail fourth in Copenhagen. She won't get to Kona, unfortunately, to try and improve on her eighth-place finish from last year, but, as you can imagine, her season is hardly over. She's off to Ironman Chattanooga next.

5. Michelle Vesterby is a uber-super-mom

We've seen lots of impressive professional super-moms over the last couple of years, but Michelle Vesterby appears to be setting a new standard even for that impressive group. Her son Markus was born in May and about 12-weeks later she was on the start line of Ironman Copenhagen. She rode 4:43:04 and finished in 9:09:22. That is nothing short of unbelievable. She'll no-doubt be at another Ironman later this year, looking for a qualifying spot for Kona 2020.


Ironman Copenhagen | Women

August 18, 2019 | Copenhagen, Denmark




3.8 km Swim

180 km Bike

42.2 km Run


Anne Haug







Camilla Pedersen







Maja Stage Nielsen







Angela Naeth




keine Angabe



Michelle Vesterby






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