RACE RE­PORTS

SPRITELY CAMERON BROWN DE­FIES HIS 43 YEARS AND CEL­E­BRATES A TRIPLE RECORD SUC­CESS AT IRON­MAN NEW ZEALAND

Triathlon Plus - - Contents -

The lat­est re­sults from IM New Zealand and Chal­lenge Wanaka.

WHAT IRON­MAN NEW ZEALAND WHEN 5 MARCH 2016 WHERE TAUPO, NEW ZEALAND

WIN­NERS CAMERON BROWN (NZL) 8:07: 57 MERED­ITH KESSLER (USA) 8:56:07

Cameron Brown flew the flag for the more ma­ture racer at Iron­man Taupo in a triple whammy, which saw records tum­ble.

At the grand age of 43 Cameron Brown not only ex­tended his record as the old­est win­ner of any Iron­man race but be­came the first pro to win the same ti­tle a dozen times, as well as de­mol­ish­ing his own course record for good mea­sure.

Cross­ing the line in a speedy 8:07:57 ahead of Brit Joe Skip­per, he broke the course record set by Be­van Docherty in 2013 by more than seven min­utes (and his own from 2009 by more than 10 min­utes).

Brown was in 11th place when he ex­ited the wa­ter af­ter the 3.8km swim but a solid bike leg saw him lead a chas­ing group of five rid­ers to within 2:25 min­utes of Cyril Vi­en­not (FRA) as they reached T2.

Then with Vi­en­not badly cramp­ing on the run, Brown took the lead along­side com­pa­triot Cal­lum Mill­ward. The two matched each other stride for stride un­til Brown struck out for home just af­ter the 28km mark. Over the next three kilo­me­tres he stretched out his lead to more than 30 sec­onds. Mean­while, Joe Skip­per (GBR) was streak­ing his way up the field af­ter fin­ish­ing the bike leg in sev­enth place. The plucky Brit over­took the fad­ing Mill­ward and crossed the line just 1:39 min­utes be­hind Brown to take a ster­ling sil­ver place.

Mill­ward clung on to third place to com­plete the podium line-up.

In an in­ter­view af­ter­wards, Brown said: “That was the tough­est. And aside from my first win here, this would have to go down as the best. I’m a cou­ple of months shy of my 44th birth­day so to win this for a 12th time and set a new course record is in­cred­i­bly spe­cial. I am re­ally suf­fer­ing but this means so much to me.”

In the women’s race, Mered­ith Kessler (USA) also cel­e­brated a home run, top­ping the podium for the fifth suc­ces­sive year.

Kessler, 37, ce­mented her world-class rep­u­ta­tion by de­stroy­ing a top-qual­ity field and knock­ing nearly 10 min­utes off her own course record. (She lost a minute when she in­ad­ver­tently took a wrong turn at the end of the cy­cle).

Al­though she trailed fel­low US ath­lete Lau­ren Bran­don out of the swim by 1:48, Kessler quickly es­tab­lished con­trol of the race dur­ing the bike ride.

With Great Bri­tain’s Lucy Gos­sage just over two min­utes be­hind at T2, Kessler struck out for home and opened up the mar­gin with each step of the marathon, even­tu­ally cross­ing the line nine min­utes ahead of Gos­sage.

Fel­low Brit Laura Sid­dall fought a brave race but couldn’t hold off the Aus­tralian Car­rie Lester who snatched third in 9.07.18.

Af­ter­wards Kessler said: “To­day was by far my most en­rich­ing day in New Zealand

which says a lot about a coun­try and a town that means so much to me and my hus­band. No day is per­fect, but over­all you have to be con­sis­tent over all three dis­ci­plines which I did to­day and re­ally it was a very pleas­ing per­for­mance. It sets my year off on a very pos­i­tive note and that is very ex­cit­ing.”

Kessler and Brown’s records weren’t the only ones tram­pled on the day. Dou­gal Al­lan set a new bike course record (4:22:13); while GB’s Lucy Gos­sage did the same in the women’s race (4:51:38). Amer­i­can Matt Han­son set a new men’s run course record in 2:41:19, while Lau­ren Bran­don would have bro­ken the women’s swim record had she com­pleted the race.

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