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By February 10, 2022No Comments
Braden Currie Coast to Coast Multisport Champion
Yesterday, Braden Currie dragged his old kayak out of the shed that hasn’t been paddled in six years, reminiscing on the last time he paddled it (2016) – when he came second to Sam Clarke in the Coast to Coast – his fifth consecutive year racing the event. Shortly after, his wife Sally jack-knifed the kayak and sheered it straight down the centre. They both considered it an omen to start something new and Braden went on to win his first-ever Ironman less than four weeks later.

After six years of racing Ironman, with two Ironman Asia Pacific titles under his belt and being announced top five in the world, Currie has not had a chance to return to multisport. Lucky he got his kayak fixed and finds it in loosely workable condition.

Credit: Sean Beale

Two years of planning life and events as an Ironman athlete around cancellations and postponements has equipped Braden Currie and his family with the courage and ability to pivot last minute when Covid hits the fan and sparks a whirlwind of ended events. Continuing to make the most of what is available to him is the reason why, in light of Ironman New Zealand 2022 being cancelled, Currie has had less than 36 hours to prepare for racing the 40th anniversary of the one-day Coast to Coast this Saturday.

This last-minute entry has been spurred on by Mike Davies (owner of the Coast to Coast) who has been badgering Currie for the last few years to return to the start line.

The race will take Currie right back to his roots, to where he started out his professional racing career and became three-time Coast to Coast champion before setting his sights on Ironman distance.

Credit: Sean Beale

World-famous in New Zealand, Coast to Coast is the nations major multi-sport event and has become almost a rite of passage for multisport athletes from around the world with over 20,000 people having had completed the event in the 39 years to date.  Starting at daybreak at Kumara beach, competitors have to cycle a total of 140 kilometres, run 36 kilometres (including a mountain stage across an alpine pass), and kayak 67 kilometres on the Canterbury side. This year the course B will be brought into play after heavy rain fall on the West Coast. This will play to Currie’s strengths as the kayak section is reduced to a 30km lower Waimakariri section (instead of 67kms).

Currie plans to use the fitness he has been saving up over the past few months for Ironman New Zealand on the 2022 Coast to Coast course but states there is more to this race than simply being a convenient alternative for changed circumstances.

“Coast to Coast is the race that bought me into the sport, it’s what first drew my attention to endurance and it’s a race that I have a huge love & respect for. I’m excited about the opportunity to re-visit my roots. I’ve made peace with the fact that my career is now somewhat based around spontaneity, dictated by the flow of the pandemic. I’m looking forward to a good weekend ahead”.

Credit: Sean Beale

After Coast to Coast, there will be no other events for Currie to race in New Zealand or Australia – the next start line will be in Utah in May for the Ironman World Championships.

“This year feels like it will be a good one. But making sure I have the opportunity to race frequently will be key, as I prepare for two world championship events this year. This race is as tough as it gets mentally and exactly what I need.”