Press release – 12th of February, 2022
After a last-minute decision to race Coast to Coast off the cuff on Thursday, today Braden Currie started the race as he hoped to continue, and continue he did – relentlessly earning himself 1st place ahead of long-time mate and last years Coast to Coast Champion, Dougal Allan (2nd) and Ryan Kiesanowski (3rd) with a time of 9 hours 45 minutes and 23 seconds.
After retiring from multisport seven years ago to pursue Ironman distance, Currie had planned to race Ironman New Zealand in the coming weeks, but after receiving news that the event had been cancelled less than 40 hours before the horn was due to blow on the start line of the Coast to Coast’s 40th Anniversary, he took his chance to compete in one last race in New Zealand before heading to Utah in May for the Ironman World Championships.
“It was a huge decision to actually make the start today. I’ve always wanted to come back and race Coast to Coast. It was amazing to be back racing in the natural environment and the course is a favourite. To go back to where it all started and have an experience like this feels incredible. It means a lot to me.
Obviously, I haven’t been on the course at all, or in my boat for years and haven’t done any real mountain trail running – I feel really lucky to get out ahead of Dougal. He’s an incredible human and one of my best mates. Once you’re in that race mode, you just do what you’ve trained to do in that environment. I had a great day – a good run, bike and paddle. I knew the river would be high so as long as I stayed in the fast water and kept my boat up the right way I hoped I wouldn’t lose too much time – luckily that happened”.
Setting off from Kumara on the West Coast, Currie rode in a bunch with Bobby Dean, Dougal Allan, Sam Manson and Ryan Kiesanowski for a good part of the first 55km ride, arriving at Atkins Corner Currie was in the lead before transitioning to the run. Looking strong he continued to build time over Goats Pass resulting in about a nine-minute lead on Bobby Dean.
The next transition onto the 112km bike had Currie have around a fourteen-minute lead on the rest and a twenty-minute lead on Dougal Allan going into the Kayak on the lower Waimakariri River.
“A race like this is incredibly hard to plan for, so it was about having some fun. On the run, I actually remembered the exact root that tripped my brother up (Glen Currie) a few years ago and caused some pretty solid damage to his knee – that kept me amused for a while! (laughs).
Photo: Braden Currie with brother, Glen Currie (photo credit to Sally Currie).
The Ironman training over the last five years means my cycling has come a long way – I just put my head down and did what I had to do”.