(all photos are credit to Graeme Murray)
After two neck to neck sprint finishes on half distance events between favourites; Braden Currie and Kyle Smith this year, it’s no surprise the pair, along with Mike Phillips, came together early on in the bike with Currie maintaining 1st position throughout that leg.
Coming off the bike, Currie powered ahead dominating the run right through until crossing the finish line in 1st place with a time of 7:57:12 ahead of Mike Phillips (2nd) and Kyle Smith (3rd).
“I looked at my watch early in the run and was running a 3:05/km pace and at that point I knew I was going to have a really good run, but I told myself I should probably slow down a bit! (laughs). I didn’t want to end up in a side by side battle with those boys, I wanted to make them hurt and feel the pain early and not give them a chance to run with me. Quite often that strategy works when you can run that pace for a while and grit your teeth and hang in there.
Full credit to Kyle for sticking in there, he was hanging on tough on the run and good on him for getting it done. I know it won’t be the result he was hoping for on his debut but no doubt when he pulls off his good race its going to be a lot tighter”.
“That first win here on debut was a bit of a fluke to be honest and I probably didn’t give it the credit it deserved at the time. I kind of shrugged it off and thought I must have just had a really good day so it’s been a solid win today after a few years of fighting for it again. It’s a long time since I’ve raced well here and I’m really proud of how it played out today. It’s beautiful to have my family here. My wife and kids have been on this journey with me every step of the way. Bella and Tarn are really starting to understand what’s going on; having a Dad as a professional athlete, they probably didn’t fully get that as babies. It’s nice to show them how the hard work we’ve all put in can turn into the result I know they’ll be super proud of today”.
With the next focus being Ironman World Championship, anything is possible for Braden Currie with today’s performance having established a good confidence moving forward.