Braden Currie took home a second-place today at the Ironman Asia Pacific Champs in Cairns after a brutal battle at the front of the race with Max Neumann.
A group of four consisting of Sam Appleton, Pete Jacobs, Max Neumann and Currie exited the swim together. The four soon became three with Jacobs falling off the back at the 65km mark. Currie and Appleton gave it their best to take a break from Neumann in the last 50km but only managed to put a minute on at the start of the run.
Currie laughs as he reflects on the fact that he probably pushed the bike too hard in the final hour stating he ‘felt it in the legs’ during the back half of the marathon.
“Appleton and I gave it our all on the last part of the ride, it was one of the toughest rides I’ve endured – I might have pushed it a little hard because I started to deteriorate towards the end of the race”.
The last few years have seen Currie focus immensely on the bike discipline, reflected in today’s ride time of 4:20:09 which is five minutes up on the year he broke the race record in 2018.
Currie was racing to win in the first 21km of the run with the pace set at 3.41min/km and a total half-distance time of 1hr 17min 41seconds – holding at least a two-minute lead on Neumann. It was at the crux marathon distance of 26kms that the effort of the ride started to show and 7km later Neumann made his pass on Currie. With 9km left, Currie grit his teeth and found the motivation to keep pushing to bring home a gutsy second place with a total time of 7 hours, 55 minutes and 10 seconds.
Stating that ‘life caught up on me a bit out there’ Currie’s podium performance today comes merely five weeks off the back of a stellar third place at the Ironman World Championships in Utah.
“It’s been a fairly short turnaround between races and we raced really, really hard today – full credit to Max, he had that last little kick at the 30km mark and I had nothing left in the tank. I knew entering this race was going to be a roll of the dice considering the less-than-ideal prep, and it could have gone anyway. Nonetheless, I wanted to put it all out there and enjoy it. It was a lot of fun and I’m really happy coming away with second place and having another strong ride in the second half is something I’m stoked to take with me to Kona this year.”