Pow­er­ful team first to reg­is­ter

Com­pet­i­tive mates sign up for De­fi­ance ad­ven­ture race

Central Otago Mirror - - SPORT - By DEB­BIE JAMIESON

When Wanaka ath­letes and team­mates Braden Cur­rie and Dou­gal Al­lan line up to com­pete in the first Red Bull De­fi­ance ad­ven­ture race in Oc­to­ber, they have no doubts who will be in charge of the tar­get shoot­ing.

‘‘I’ve done a lit­tle bit of hunt­ing but Braden is from a farm and he fan­cies him­self with a gun,’’ of­fers Al­lan.

Re­sponds Cur­rie: ‘‘When we had Dou­gal’s stag do we went clay bird shoot­ing and now I know he’s not a great shot so it’s go­ing to have to be me!’’

The men are among each other’s most fierce com­pe­ti­tion – Cur­rie’s ti­tles in­clude cur­rent Coast to Coast cham­pion and win­ner of the Mo­tat­apu Xterra, Al­lan won the re­cent Peak to Peak, the Gol­drush and sur­prised him­self with a third in Chal­lenge Wanaka ear­lier this year.

How­ever, they are also close friends, win­ning the Wen­zhou Out­door Chal­lenge in China to­gether the last two years.

They are the first team to be an­nounced for the De­fi­ance race and will be for­mi­da­ble com­pe­ti­tion for all-com­ers, hav­ing also played a key role in de­sign­ing the course around their home town.

Al­lan says that won’t give them any un­fair ad­van­tage. In­stead, it will make a bet­ter race.

‘‘There’s a lot of race or­gan­is­ers put to­gether events that don’t nec­es­sar­ily meet the ex­pec­ta­tions of what ath­letes ac­tu­ally want . . . In a lot of ways I think it’s over­due that ath­letes get in­volved in course de­sign. Be­cause you are ath­letes and com­peti­tors and race in so many events there’s a pretty good chance in terms of us tun­nelling the ex­pe­ri­ence for what peo­ple hope to get.’’

The course, which in­cludes run­ning, kayak­ing and moun­tain­bike en­durance dis­ci­plines, with some tar­get based shoot­ing and rope work as well, was well doc­u­mented on the Red Bull web­site with de­tail in­clud­ing fly­bys.

Speak­ing from Cha­monix, in France, be­tween races in the Euro­pean Xterra se­ries, Braden Cur­rie said he was look­ing for­ward to get­ting home in Septem­ber prior to the Oc­to­ber race.

Trav­el­ling with his wife Sally and chil­dren Tarn, 6, and 18-month-old Bella, he is sit­ting third in the se­ries which he will com­plete be­fore head­ing to China to com­pete as Team New Zealand Ad­ven­ture with Al­lan, brother Glen and Wanaka-based Jess Sim­son.

He had not re­ally known what to ex­pect in his first at­tempt at the Xterra se­ries.

‘‘I’ve raced the worlds be­fore and there’s al­ways re­ally tough com­pe­ti­tion. I knew there was go­ing to be sim­i­lar com­pe­ti­tion and was hop­ing to be in the top five a lot of the time. We’ve been do­ing that and do­ing that quite eas­ily.’’

For Cur­rie and Al­lan a high­light of the two-day De­fi­ance race will be the sec­ond day, moun­tain­bik­ing the Crif­fel range and run­ning the high alti­tude pass known as ‘‘Sky­line’’, con­nect­ing Mt Alpha and Roys Peak and over­look­ing Wanaka.

‘‘When I’ve trained through there you hon­estly feel like you’re on top of the world,’’ Al­lan says.

Ex­cited: Mul­tisporters Braden Cur­rie (red) and Dou­gal Al­lan (black) are the first team to reg­is­ter for the Red Bull De­fi­ance ad­ven­ture race in Oc­to­ber this year on their home turf, around Wanaka.

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