Racing

Currie defends Challenge Wanaka win

By February 21, 2020 No Comments

Braden Currie of NZ winning the Integrity Homes Challenge Wanaka / Challenge Asia Pacific Championships

Press release, February 15 2020

Author: Cat Pattison
Racing on home turf certainly suits him, as local legend Red Bull endurance athlete Braden Currie did the double, backing up his 2019 Challenge Wanaka win today.

Three weeks out from IRONMAN New Zealand, the half-distance race in Lake Wanaka, out on the scenic Southern Lakes roads and around the Wanaka township, was the perfect build-up for Currie. He finished in 3hours:59mins:48secs, comfortably running down Australian pro Matt Burton (4:02:37) and fellow Kiwi Mike Phillips (4:03:31).

Mens pro podium from the Integrity Homes Challenge Wanaka / Challenge Asia Pacific Championships (L to R – Matt Burton (Aus) 2nd, Braden Currie (NZ) 1st, Mike Phillips (NZ) 3rd. Photo by Nei Kerri.

While the 1.9km swim took place in ideal conditions, with Lake Wanaka mirror flat, the heat quickly got turned up by the top athletes on the 90km bike.

“I feel like I’m in pretty good form, had a solid swim and was feeling comfortable. Joe [Skipper]is a is a phenomenal rider and he was out to attack but even when he got past me, he didn’t make a huge amount of time on me over the last 30 kilometres,” Currie says of one of his main rivals.

Braden Currie of New Zealand exits the swim leg of the Integrity Homes Challenge Wanaka/Challenge Asia Pacific Championships 2020. Photo by Jemma Wells

“Mike [Phillips] threw everything he had at the bike. He’s coming back from injury so it was going to be interesting to see if he could hold his pace on the run. I had a bit of a deficit to Mike and Joe at the end of the bike, but I felt confident in my run form. “Currie, who finished 7th at the 2019 World Ironman Championships in Kona, adds.

Braden Currie of NZ in action at the Integrity Homes Challenge Wanaka / Challenge Asia Pacific Championships. Photo by Nei Kerri.


As is usually the case, Currie turned on the after-burners throughout the 21.1km run and smoked on by the early leaders.

“I was hurting but managed to run the first few kilometres at 3min.15sec/3min.10sec per kilometre pace. I sent it really hard! I caught Joe and Matty pretty quick and then all of a sudden I’d taken 3 minutes out of Mike and I knew I was going to catch him.”

Braden Currie of NZ on his way to winning the Integrity Homes Challenge Wanaka / Challenge Asia Pacific Championships. Photo by Nei Kerri.


“The run went really well and I was sitting at 3mins.30secs to 3mins.40secs pace. I eased off at the 8km mark once I got into the lead,” Currie says of conserving his energy for the longer distance race in Taupo on March 7.

“Three weeks out from Ironman NZ, my endurance is definitely there and my riding was on track for Ironman power,” Currie says.

Braden Currie of NZ in action at the Integrity Homes Challenge Wanaka / Challenge Asia Pacific Championships. Photo by Nei Kerri.


The benefits of racing around his hometown today were apparent as he blitzed the course for the second consecutive year.

“The local support on this course is phenomenal these days. It’s amazing how many people I saw out there and people I know really well, cheering me on. The other highlight was having my daughter Bella and son Tarn there at the finish line,” Currie
wraps up.

Braden Currie of the New Zealand rounds the bluffs above Glendhu Bay in the cycle leg of the Integrity Homes Challenge Wanaka/Challenge Asia Pacific Championships 2020. Photo by Jemma Wells.


Braden Currie thanks the following sponsors for their support: Macpac, Flight Centre, True, Asics, Red Bull, Blue Seventy, Specialized, Cannibal and GWD Motor Group