Red Bull athlete Braden Currie blitzed his competition and broke the course record by more than two minutes in the Port of Tauranga Half Ironman in Mount Maunganui on Saturday.
The Wanaka powerhouse completed the swim, bike and run course in 3hours:45mins:38secs to smash the previous record time of 3:47:54 jointly held by Nathan Richmond (2006) and Graham O'Grady (2013). Currie also finished more than two minutes clear of 10-time event winner Cameron Brown and was understandably ecstatic about his performance.
“I still can’t quite believe I went as fast as I did. This is my fourth time racing this event and although I have won it twice before, I had to dig pretty deep to achieve the time I set this year,” Currie (30) says.
He had a strong swim leg over the 2km course and set up his victory on the 90km road bike section, where he opened an unassailable lead on Brown and 19-year-old Hayden Wilde, who was third.
“Yesterday everything went well. I was second out of the water and felt great on the bike. There was one guy ahead of me but I just raced my own race and managed to extend the lead on the chase pack and come off the bike first,” Currie says.
His rivals never stood a chance on the run as Currie set his fastest half marathon time ever, sprinting to the finish tape in 1:13:55.
“I definitely put a huge focus into extended training blocks last year, but hadn’t felt the results of this in my last few races of 2016. It is starting to feel like all those miles are paying dividends now,” Currie says.
He has been in scintillating form recently with a win last month at the IRONMAN Taupo 70.3 and coupled with yesterday’s stunning result, Currie is in top shape for his full summer season of racing ahead.
He will race Red Bull Defiance in his hometown of Wanaka on January 21 and 22, where he teams up with his international XTERRA rival and multisport legend United States-based Josiah Middaugh. A mere fortnight later he will be gunning for a fourth Coast to Coast title on February 11.
“I am also considering racing Taupo Ironman in early March. We will see how it all goes from now on in, but I couldn’t be happier with a start to the year like this one,’ Currie says.
CAPTION Red Bull athlete Braden Currie, of Wanaka, runs to course record setting history in the Port of Tauranga Half yesterday. PHOTO CREDIT: SCOTTIE T PHOTOGRAPHY
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Braden Currie’s multisport campaign is made possible with the support of: Flight Centre Active Travel, Subaru of New Zealand, Specialized, 2XU and Red Bull, Apex Insurance and Bike Sure.