Braden Currie and Hannah Wells posted dominating wins at New Zealand’s Nutri-Grain Ironman Saturday in Taupo.
Currie won his second New Zealand Ironman title with a dominant appearance at 7:57:13 which gave him a 9:26 margin over runner-up and fellow Kiwi Mike Phillips. Currie started the day with a 47:30 second best swimmer who was 57 seconds behind leader Kyle Smith, then arrived at T2 in close range, three men with Smith and Mike Phillips. Once on the run, Currie beat all of his competitors with a 2:40:47 marathon so far, best of the race, 9:05 better than runner-up Phillips and 11:41 better than Smith.
“I knew it was going to be a tough journey,” Currie told Stuff Magazine. “I have to grit my teeth at 30 km, keep the tempo and stay there.”
Currie added, this result strengthens his confidence to increase his best position to 5th in Kona. “This competition builds good confidence this year and focuses on World Champions. I got my first win here on my debut (in 2017), but it feels even more solid. ”
Wells overcame a 5:16 deficit after swimming with a woman’s best score on her bike and sprinting to finish at 9:01:50 with a 13:49 margin of victory over fellow Kiwi Rebecca Clarke. While Wells won in dominating mode in her first Ironman attempt, she fell 20:21 from Teresa Adam’s 2020 women’s record.
“It means so much, I can’t even put it into words,” said Wells, who took the win in the Wanaka Challenge round. “I have a plan and I want to stick to it. There will always be surprises and difficult moments. I had a tough swim and the second half of the marathon was tough, but I’m really excited to get to the finish line. “
Kyle Smith led the swim with a 46: 323 split which gave him a lead of 57 seconds on Currie and 58 seconds on his brother Ben Currie, 1:02 for Simon Cochrane and 1:16 on Phillips. After the best of the races 4:23:29 by Phillips, 4:23:47 by Currie and 4:23:49 by Smith, the three of them arrive at T2 in seconds. Once they started running, Currie broke away for a 2:40:47 race best that took her to the line in 7:57:13 with a 9:26 margin at Phillips. Currie’s finish fell 2:56 from Joe Skipper’s 2020 race record.
New Zealand Multi-Ironman winner Cameron Brown had a tough day, which he shared on Facebook:
“I finished the race today but was unfortunately disqualified. Everything was going well and I felt comfortable getting off the bike, but in the first few kilometers of the run leg I could feel my legs getting tighter and the joints of my front toes tense. I tried to stretch them and stopped. several times but the more I kept running, the more pain I felt, as far as 20 km my hips are now also tense and I am forced to walk. I saw my son on the side of the road and exchanged my shoes with him and immediately felt the pain subsided even though it was still running long slow to finish which I just wanted to do and respect the race that has been so good for me. I crossed the Ironman slow line in Taupo in 8:58 am but was sadly disqualified due to outside help. Hope my legs and feet will be right in a few days. went into the race in great shape but it is b alapan and looking forward to the next race soon. ”
Rebecca Clarke led the women’s pool with a 48:39 split that gave her a 5:16 lead at Wells and 12-13 minutes on Emily McNaughton and Melanie Burke. Wells then took off like a rocket with a 4:50:41 split bike which was 11:30 better than Clarke and 14 minutes better than McNaughton and gave him 6 minutes to start the run. After the women’s fastest marathon of 3:10:51, Wells finished at 9:01:50 with a 13:49 margin of victory over Clarke and 36:53 in third place finisher McNaughton.
“I had my first (Ironman) win here on my debut, it feels even more solid,” Wells told Stuff magazine. “This is a racing Ironman that gets tougher and tougher and tougher.”
Nutri-Grain Ironman New Zealand
Taupo, New Zealand
March 27, 2021
S 2.4 miles. / B 112 miles. / R 26.2 miles.
1. Braden Currie (NZL) S 47:30 T1 3:42 B 4:23:47 T2 1:30 R 2:40:47 TOT 7:57:13
2. Mike Phillips (NZL) S 47:49 T1 3:47 B 4:23:29 T2 1:44 R 2:49:52 TOT 8:06:39
3. Kyle Smith (NZL) S 46:33 T1 4:37 B 4:23:49 T2 2:17 R 2:51:40 TOT 8:08:54
4. Jack Moody (NZL) S 53:36 T1 4:35:50 T2 2:46 R 2:42:15 TOT 8:18:24
5. Ben Phillips (NZL) S 47:31 T1 3:40 B 4:29:47 T2 2:18 R 2:56:44 TOT 8:20:00
6. Simon Cochrane (NZL) S 47:35 T1 3:38 B 4:39:08 T2 2:11 R 2:52:10 TOT 8:24:40
7. Lucas Duross (NZL) S 54:14 T1 4:51 B 4:49:15 T2 2:41 R 3:00:28 TOT 8:51:27
8. Cameron Brown (NZL) S 52:05 T1 4:25 B 4:31:50 T2 2:05 R 3:28:25 TOT 8:58:48 * Disqualified due to outside assistance
1. Hannah Wells (NZL) 53:55 T1 4:25 B 4:50:41 T2 2:00 R 3:10:51 TOT 9:01:50
2. Rebecca Clarke (NZL) S 48: 39T1 4:48 B 5:02:09 T2 2:24 R 3:17:41 TOT 9:15:39
3. Emily McNaughton (NZL) S 1:01:05 T1 5:14 B 5:12:23 T2 2:13 R 3:17: 49m TOT 9:38:43
4. Melanie Burke (NZL) S 1:09:11 T1 5:30 B 5:18:17 T2 2:20 R 3:29:57 TOT 10:05:13