Powerful team first to register
Competitive mates sign up for Defiance adventure race
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.