Wanaka’s Ironman Hawaii-bound

Photo: Kona IRONMAN World Championship - Donald Miralle Photography

A Wanaka resident has achieved his dream and qualified for his first Ironman event.

Stephen Brown will compete in the 2017 Ironman World Championships in Hawaii next week after clinching a spot in the 35-39-year-olds category.

After eight years of taking part in Ironman races, Stephen finished 5th in a race in China last year to book his place and will be the southernmost athlete in the world at this year’s event.

“For me, it was quite amazing as it’s been a dream of mine to qualify,” Stephen said.

“I’ve had good and bad races, but last year it all came together. I’ve been training hard in a Wanaka winter, which isn’t ideal conditions for the heat and wind in Hawaii, but I’ll do the best I can. It’s now about having that experience out there.”

Stephen’s wife Peta and two-year-old son Ky will be making the trip to support him for the race, during which he will swim 3.8km, cycle 180 km and run a full marathon of 42.2km. He said he is aiming high for the race itself, but that being able to take part is the main reward.

“I’d like to do it in nine and a half hours if I have an amazing race, but it will be my first there and they’re the hardest conditions in the world. At the end of the day, my goal is to finish and enjoy the whole experience.”

Stephen will take on the world’s best in Kona, Hawaii on October 14.

Cover image: Kona IRONMAN World Championship. Photo: Donald Miralle Photography

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