Al­ways another com­pe­ti­tion

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By AIMEE WIL­SON

Life never re­ally stops for Wanaka-based ath­letes Braden Cur­rie and Nicky Sa­muels. As Sa­muels winds down from a busy year com­pet­ing in triathlons in­ter­na­tion­ally fin­ish­ing with a world rank­ing of 14th, Cur­rie’s mul­ti­sport sea­son is just warm­ing up. The present Speights Coast to Coast cham­pion re­cently re­turned from China, win­ning the Wu­long Moun­tain Quest for the sec­ond year in a row. Sa­muels has a good chance of a plac­ing in the World Xterra. It will be the first time the New Zealand cy­cling road race cham­pion has se­ri­ously jumped on a moun­tain­bike to race but she is look­ing for­ward to it. ‘‘This is just a fun thing to do at the end of the year,’’ she said. The Xterra is de­scribed as the World pre­mier off-road triathlon but the event proved too risky for the pro­fes­sional triathlon in the past, be­cause of in­jury. Another mo­ti­va­tion to en­ter was the chance to hol­i­day with her aunt who has mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis, as well as hus­band and par­ents. Cur­rie is build­ing up to a busy sum­mer sea­son over­seas with half iron­man events in Perth, Tas­ma­nia and Mel­bourne, be­fore com­ing home to de­fend his Coast to Coast ti­tle in Fe­bru­ary. He en­tered the Xterra last year and had a ‘‘rea­son­able but not the best’’ event but has been fo­cus­ing on more time in the wa­ter in prepa­ra­tion for the Oc­to­ber 27 event. ‘‘I have done more swim­ming than I have ever done be­fore so I am just go­ing to give it a go,’’ he said.

Photo: AIMEE WIL­SON

Quick breather: Top mul­ti­sporter Braden Cur­rie and pro­fes­sional triath­lete Nicky Sa­muels have a break from train­ing at Lake Wanaka.

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