Currie breaks Port of Tauranga record
Wanaka multisporter Braden Currie is in sizzling form, just four weeks to go before the Coast to Coast.
The Red Bull athlete blitzed his competition at the Port of Tauranga Half Ironman in Mount Maunganui on Saturday, reducing the course record by more than two minutes to 3:45:38.
The previous record of 3:47:54 was jointly held by Nathan Richmond (2006) and Graham O’Grady (2013).
Currie, 30, finished more than two minutes clear of 10-time event winner Cameron Brown and was ecstatic as he crossed the finish line. Hayden Wilde, 19, was third.
‘‘I still can’t quite believe I went as fast as I did. This is my fourth time racing this event and although I have won it twice before, I had to dig pretty deep to achieve the time I set this year,’’ Currie said.
He was second out of the water on the 2km swim and opened up his lead on the 90km road bike.
Currie said everything went well and he felt great on the bike.
‘‘There was one guy ahead of me but I just raced my own race and managed to extend the lead on the chase pack and come off the bike first,’’ Currie says.
Currie set his fastest halfmarathon time ever, sprinting to the finish tape in 1:13:55.
‘‘I definitely put a huge focus into extended training blocks last year, but hadn’t felt the results of this in my last few races of 2016. It is starting to feel like all those miles are paying dividends now,’’ Currie says.
Currie also won the Taupo 70.3 last month and is in top shape for his campaign to reclaim the Coast to Coast title, which he won three times in a row between 2013-2015. He did not do the race in 2016.
The Coast to Coast is on February 11. The race will be defended by 2016 champion Sam Clark. Dual Olympic triathlete Courtney Atkinson, 37, of Australia, is also racing the Longest Day for the first time.
Currie will warm up for the race by competing in the Red Bull Defiance in Wanaka on January 21 and 22, in a team with Josiah Middaugh, of the US.
Currie said he was considering racing Taupo Ironman on March 4. He has committed to New Zealand’s first swimrun adventure race, the 50km Breca Wanaka, on March 25.
‘‘We will see how it all goes from now on in, but I couldn’t be happier with a start to the year like this one,’ Currie said.
Braden Currie runs to a new course record at the Port of Tauranga half ironman.