Braden Currie has returned to Cairns, to line up for the 2nd time in the Ironman Asia Pacific Championship on the 10th of June. Last year Braden achieved a 3rd place against Joe Gambles and Josh Amberger, with all three podium place getters breaking the previous course record by over 10 minutes.

“I am really looking forward to racing at Cairns again this year. For me it feels like it’s been a while since I last raced, but that’s given me the opportunity to achieve a solid build up. Even coming out of New Zealand’s winter I’ve actually managed to some really good training volume and a consistent training pattern.”

Ironman Cairns 2017
Third place at Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship 2017

Ironman Cairns has become known as the Ironman in Paradise and Braden is looking forward to racing at one of the strongest fields ever to line up at the Ironman Asia-Pacific Championships.

“The race is looking really exciting, the field is very stacked. I would say there are 10-15 guys out there, that are very well acclaimed professional triathletes that are going to be pushing the pace hard and all going out there for the top podium spots. I would say that the field is not too dissimilar to what you expect if you were lining up for Kona, which just shows how competitive Ironman has become and how hungry pro athletes are to make sure they are on the Kona start line.”

Braden’s preparation for Ironman Asia Pacific has perfomed from of his home in Wanaka NZ. With the early onset of winter in the deep south, this has meant a lot of Braden’s bike volume has been achieved on the wind trainer. However, Braden has been able to spend lots of time out in the mountains trail running where he is most at home.

Braden Currie training off road in Boulder, Colorado
Training off road in Boulder, Colorado last October © Shot Bro NZ

“Training at home in May isn’t easy, the days are short and this year it’s been a lot colder than normal. But the cold temps have made me get on the wind trainer and I actually think the consistency and quality of my rides has been improved. The wind trainer is not where I like to be, but sometimes the things you don’t like are the ones that you get the most benefit from. The race is going to be pretty warm this year, I think water temps are 27 degrees and probably reach up to 29-30 degrees during that mid-day sun. And later in the afternoon with that run being out in the middle of that is definitely going to make a difference to the racing.”

Braden chose to race Ironman Asia Pacific again this year, because of the course that Ironman Cairns offers and the culture around the event, and of course because of the field that he knew he would be racing.

“It’s not a give-in that doing an Ironman will be in a spectacular warm location, but this course is a really beautiful course, with one of the best bike courses on offer within Ironman. The bike is backed up by a run around the city centre. There is always a lot of people around. Aussie spectators like to go all out and there is never any shortage of support and encouragement from the side-lines, which makes racing in Cairns all the more enjoyable. Knowing there was such as strong field turning up to the start line in Cairns, actually made my training a lot easier as well. I had a bit of excess motivation to make sure I was in the right condition on race day. Having the experience of 6 months of dedicated training towards Kona last year, has taught me what is means to be fit to race. And I’m really looking forward to having another chance at this distance.”

Braden needs to pull of a top 5 result in Cairns in order to qualify for the Ironman World Championships in Kona in October this year.

“I’m ready to pull off a good race and with how my training has been going I am confident I can be up the front of the race and come away with a good result. My main focus is to try and qualify for Kona, which means a top 5 to top up my points, but at the end of the day I will be aiming to do better than that. I’m excited to be back, excited to be racing and looking forward to the challenges that it puts out there”.