Cur­rie breaks Port of Tau­ranga record

Central Otago Mirror - - CLASSIFIEDS - MAR­JORIE COOK

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.

SCOTTIE T PHOTOGRAPHY

Braden Cur­rie runs to a new course record at the Port of Tau­ranga half iron­man.

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