Currie and McCauley take Taupo

Braden Currie and Jocelyn McCauley took the established stars to claim their first Ironman New Zealand titles.

| March 4, 2017 | NEWS

Braden Currie holds off Ironman legend Cam Brown on the run to take Ironman New Zealand.

Braden Currie holds off Ironman legend Cam Brown on the run to take Ironman New Zealand.

Photo >Phil Wrochna

There are a number of elements you cannot control in an Ironman. The variables, of course, are numerous, but the chief one is weather. And, in Taupo, the site of Ironman New Zealand, like any course, when the elements decide to bare their teeth the athletes must contend with what’s literally thrown at them. The 2017 edition of Ironman New Zealand got it via the jet stream that was turned onto the race. In a word, wind. The wind kicked in on this day, turning the bike from tough to survival. And, at the pointy end of the field, the pros took first swing at cracking it.

Currie's breakthrough day

Braden Currie came to Taupo with a reputation as a multi sport top gun rather than a triathlete. But his skill set is on point for the triathlon game and he showed the Taupo crowd that he is a definite rising star. Giving up a scant 10 seconds out of the water to Marko Albert, Currie zoomed up the road intent on creating distance between himself and 44-year-old legend Cam Brown, who most still considered the main threat for overall victory.

“The swim was a struggle. It was the hardest swim here in 19 years,” said Brown. Bridging up to Currie first was Terenzo Bozzone, who was only going to race this event one way. Bozzone zoomed away and began to build a lead in the turbulent conditions. Bozzone’s lead topped out at 6 minutes. Chasing hard was the name of the game for Albert, Vanhoenacker, Brown and Cyril Viennot.

Onto the run Bozzone was in the hurt locker as his two wheeled efforts were beginning to tell. He cramped and this gave Currie the impetus to push into the lead. And, while Albert then Brown, mounted significant challenges, Currie held firm and took a win for the ages.

“To win is amazing and I never expected it. I came here to figure out how to race it for next year and I am not sure if I will be able to race as well as today,” said Currie. “Cam is a legend. He is so amazing, strong, repetitive and consistent and never gives up. I knew I could run fast but didn’t know how consistent I would be in the marathon.I was running scared knowing Cam could keep the same pace the whole time.”

Brown was his usual metered self post-race, saying "I felt nowhere as strong as I did last year; it was a struggle all day. At one stage, when I was about 14 minutes behind, I thought it was time to retire; but we managed to peg it back and I just never gave up. Braden held on strong and deserved to win.”

McCauley runs to the women's title

The women’s race too was a tale of two halves as aquatic escapees Annabel Luxford and Meredith Kessler were into T1 and up the road early. The trio of  Yvonne Van Vlerken, Laura Siddall and Jocelyn McCauley gave chase and, for a while, it seemed like the leading duo might carry a lead into T2 that was too big. But the rolling road, high winds and grinding pace of the chasing set meant that the gap was sliced down to around one minute into T2.

Photo >Phil Wrochna

The marathon proved to be the undoing of some including Kessler, who came in second, and Anabel Luxford, who fell from contention. The flip side of this is that a new running star was born in Jocelyn McCauley who went sub-3 hours (2:59) and took the win, her first in New Zealand.

Photo >Phil Wrochna

Ironman New Zealand | Women

Taupo, New Zealand | March 4, 2017

Name

Country

Total

3.8 km swim

180 km bike

42.2 km run

1

Jocelyn McCauley

USA

9:09:47

0:59:14

5:05:24

2:59:40

2

Laura Siddall

GBR

9:21:53

0:59:16

5:05:00

3:12:47

3

Meredith Kessler

USA

9:27:19

0:53:23

5:10:54

3:18:11

4

Annabel Luxford

AUS

9:41:48

0:53:25

5:11:01

3:32:23

5

Emma Bilham

SUI

9:52:33

0:59:15

5:37:26

3:10:35

6

Emily Loughnan

AUS

9:56:39

1:01:00

5:34:27

3:15:14

7

Alyssa Godesky

USA

10:03:58

1:07:34

5:30:41

3:19:36

8

Fawn Whiting

CAN

10:09:19

1:10:13

5:33:51

3:19:39

9

Alison Wilson

GBR

10:12:09

1:10:10

5:30:34

3:25:52

10

Wendy McAlpine

AUS

10:17:54

1:05:35

5:25:11

3:40:13

Swipe me

Photo >Phil Wrochna

Ironman New Zealand | Men

Taupo, New Zealand | March 4, 2017

Name

Country

Total

3.8 km swim

180 km bike

42.2 km run

1

Braden Currie

NZL

8:20:58

0:48:11

4:39:55

2:48:23

2

Cameron Brown

NZL

8:24:32

0:53:17

4:43:46

2:42:29

3

Cyril Viennot

FRA

8:25:43

0:53:23

4:42:28

2:43:39

4

Marko Albert

EST

8:30:16

0:48:01

4:41:47

2:56:03

5

Mark Bowstead

NZL

8:31:01

0:51:07

4:40:36

2:54:24

6

Terenzo Bozzone

NZL

8:33:35

0:48:08

4:37:45

3:03:07

7

Per Bittner

GER

8:44:13

0:53:22

4:43:50

3:02:08

8

Simon Cochrane

NZL

8:48:10

0:53:10

4:48:49

3:01:36

9

Diego Van Looy

BEL

8:52:05

1:07:48

4:47:44

2:50:50

10

Daniel Plews

NZL

8:54:10

0:54:05

4:58:55

2:55:11

Swipe me