Wanaka’s Braden Currie is the 2019 Challenge Wanaka champion, clocking four hours flat as he crossed the finish line of the 1.9km swim, 90km cycle and 21.1km run race.
Currie was second out the water this morning after Christchurch’s Dylan McNeice, but dropped to third on the bike leg when he was overtaken by American Andrew Starykowicz. Starykowicz kept the lead on the bike leg with Australian Matt Burton, who was eighth out of the water, racing into second. Currie took control of the run leg, passing Burton within minutes and overtaking second-placed Starykowicz to take the lead. Burton held on for third place, with Jack Moody fourth and McNeice finishing fifth.
Currie said after the race that he didn’t have the best day but winning was awesome.
“I didn’t feel that great, but in the run I got into it and got into a rhythm. I knew Starky would hurt so I kept it going. It is so awesome to win and a really good result,” said Currie. “Maybe a bit of pacing helped me as I felt comfortable till the end. So just looking on to the future.”
Tauranga’s Hannah Wells is the women’s champion in a time of 04:31:11, with American Meredith Kessler and Christchurch-based Laura Siddall rounding out the podium.
“It feels amazing. I mean it was super hard but I held it together,” said Wells.