Cur­rie aims to peak in Hawaii classic

The Timaru Herald - - SPORT - DUN­CAN JOHN­STONE

It’s not the course but his op­po­nents that con­cern New Zealand mul­ti­sport star Braden Cur­rie as he gets set for his Iron­man world cham­pi­onship de­but in Hawaii.

The set­ting is deemed to be the most de­mand­ing in the sport as ath­letes en­dure in­tense heat and strong winds for the 3.86km swim, 180.2km bike ride and 42.2km run.

Cur­rie and Terenzo Boz­zone are the sole Ki­wis on the pro start line in Kailua-Kona to­mor­row (5.35am NZT).

The 31-year-old Cur­rie has won vir­tu­ally ev­ery­thing he has en­tered from the coast to coast to a stun­ning first-up Iron­man ef­fort in Taupo ear­lier this year.

He has been al­ti­tude train­ing in Boul­der, Colorado, and be­lieves he is in peak con­di­tion for his tough­est chal­lenge.

‘‘It’s great to be here in Kona, Hawaii. The course looks chal­leng­ing, su­per ex­posed and a harsh en­vi­ron­ment,’’ Cur­rie, who has been on podi­ums around the world, told Stuff.

‘‘Iron­man Kona will be a sim­i­lar chal­lenge to the ad­ven­ture races I’ve done in the past - the key el­e­ment be­ing en­durance. Through my his­tory of ad­ven­ture rac­ing I’ve com­peted for longer pe­ri­ods in sim­i­lar con­di­tions, but the ath­letes on the start line this week­end are sec­ond to none.’’

Defending cham­pi­ons, Ger­many’s Jan Fro­deno and Switzer­land’s Daniela Ryf, head­line the elite field in the world’s most iconic sin­gle-day sport­ing event. Fel­low Ger­mans Se­bas­tian Kienle and Pa­trick Lange are other dan­gers in the men’s race.

Cur­rie isn’t daunted by his new sur­round­ings and be­lieves his rookie sta­tus can be turned to his ad­van­tage.

‘‘I am re­ally aware of some of the chal­lenges that Kona presents for a first-time ath­lete. But I’m 2017 Iron­man World Cham­pi­onships, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii (5.35am Sun­day NZT):

3.86km swim, 180.2km bike ride, 42.2km run. 2460 ath­letes will par­tic­i­pate 72% of par­tic­i­pants (1762 ath­letes) are male.

28% of par­tic­i­pants (698 ath­letes) are fe­male.

43 is the av­er­age age of reg­is­trants this year.

Hiromu Inada (Ja­pan) is the old­est par­tic­i­pant at 84, while Paul Len­nart (Den­mark) is the youngest at 18.

11 ath­letes will be cel­e­brat­ing their birth­day on race day.

Five coun­tries are send­ing ath­letes for the first time: Kaza­khstan, Paraguay, Ser­bia, Uruguay and Uzbek­istan. ac­tu­ally in a pretty good po­si­tion as I have noth­ing to lose and ev­ery­thing to gain. As with any race I’m not there to make up the num­bers, I’m there to do my best and win. That’s ex­actly what I’ll do come race day this week­end.’’

‘‘I also feel con­fi­dent that I have given ev­ery­thing I can to my prepa­ra­tion for the event.’’

Cur­rie has ded­i­cated his sea­son to this goal.

‘‘It’s been a great year for me - wins at Red Bull De­fi­ance and then Iron­man NZ re­ally gave me a con­fi­dence boost go­ing into the back half of this year.

‘‘I feel con­fi­dent that I have given ev­ery­thing I can to my prepa­ra­tion for the event, so I know I won’t have any re­grets about what I have put in. I’m look­ing for­ward to test­ing my­self against the world’s best.’’

Cur­rie re­cently won a half Iron­man in Santa Cruz, Cal­i­for­nia, and felt that was proof of his train­ing regime.

‘‘I’m in the best con­di­tion I’ve ever been in and I’m feel­ing happy with where I am. Santa Cruz gave me con­fi­dence in the pro­gres­sion I have made, and gave me the op­por­tu­nity to race quite a few of the top guys who will be at Kona. I couldn’t have asked for a bet­ter lead-in.’’

The 32-year-old Boz­zone has had a tough year with in­jury niggles and then catch­ing pneu­mo­nia in July. He’s no stranger to Kona and is hop­ing to use his ex­pe­ri­ence there to good ef­fect.

‘‘I am try­ing to be low key, with my ob­jec­tives to work on in the race which can’t be any worse than the last cou­ple of times. Last year I swelled up pretty bad, all the hy­dra­tion and nu­tri­tion just sat in my gut, and wasn’t be­ing ab­sorbed into the body. But I have strate­gies to man­age that this year – the aim is to lose weight rather than put it on dur­ing the race this year,’’ Bo­zonne said.

Vet­eran Cameron Brown is the only Kiwi to podium in Hawaii with sec­ond plac­ings in 2001 and 2005 and bronze-medal ef­forts in 2002 and 2003.


Braden Cur­rie runs through Goat Pass whle lead­ing the Coast to Coast long­est day race in Fe­bru­ary this year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.