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Currie runs blistering marathon to go top ten at Kona

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Braden Currie has posted an incredible 2:46:25 marathon time to finish 7th at the Vega IRONMAN World Championship, his second consecutive top ten finish in only his third start at the home of IRONMAN racing.

The race was won by German Jan Frodeno, in a new race record time of 7:51:13, the big German made his move in the second half of the bike course and rode away from the field, with his 2:42:43 marathon the icing on a very well-made Kona cake.

Tim O’Donnell was second for the USA and Sebastian Kienle made it two Germans on the podium with his third-place finish on a day that started with overcast skies, a good swell in the harbor and then searing heat for the remainder of the day.

Currie was right in the mix out of the water, a superb swim had him right in the lead group and where he wanted to be on the bike, but he just did not have the legs to stay with the pace being set first by Alistair Brownlee (Great Britain) and then Frodeno, as the Kiwi was fighting wobbly legs heading out on to the marathon in searing heat.

Somehow though, this brave Wanaka athlete found a way as he often does, to compete and run through the field, passing more than a dozen athletes on his way to 7th place, eventually running out of real estate to pursue the top five and an unlikely podium.

"That was maybe just a little too late at the end there. I am not sure what happened on the bike, I had a fantastic swim and was super comfortable and where I wanted to be but just couldn’t hang in there. Jan kept pushing so hard to keep away and kept doing that all day, the bikers came through and I couldn’t hang in there either and ended up in no-man’s land.

"I progressively lost time but to be honest I am super proud, I dug really deep on that run, I could quite easily have given up, it wasn’t where I wanted to be on the bike and in the end I end up 7th, that is alright, it is pretty good.

"I really struggled that first five minutes, but I just had to dig deep and once I found some rhythm and started getting away from some people I came right. To be honest last year was great, but I had to go deep for that one and had to do it by myself which is quite cool."

Currie loves the competition and the toughness of the event and the conditions and even on a tough day was proud of his ability to salvage a result that can very much be proud of.

"It is really brutal, it is, but you couldn’t expect anything less. The best guys in the world who push the absolute limit, there is no such thing as pace yourself or sit in, it is rivet all day, that is alright, it is a good spot."

The only other Kiwi in the pro field (men or women) was Mike Phillips, who struggled for pace through much of the day, emerging from the water at the head of a chase group and couldn’t make an impact on the race, coming home in 39th place in 9:05:29.

The women’s race was won by another German in Anne Haug, in what is a breakthrough first win at Kona for the former ITU athlete. Haug was steady on the swim and bike but played her cards in the second half of the run, overtaking Lucy Charles-Barclay (Great Britain) who had led throughout the entire race until the pass with 16 kilometres of the marathon to run. Charles-Barclay looked to be in trouble as she walked at one point and was passed by Sarah Crowley (Australia), but recovered superbly to retake second and hold on to the silver medal, ahead of a delighted Crowley.

"The standard is just so high now, to run under three hours after swimming and biking as hard as we did and only just being on the podium just shows the level of women’s racing is stepping up to another level," said a delighted Crowley. "I am so proud to be able to match it with the girls and have a battle out there with them all. It was an amazing effort from all the girls. It was so great to have all the support on the course as well, from the Aussies and Kiwis cheering for me really helped me get through that last little bit.

"Also to see some of the legends of our sport From Australia out there like Crowie and others, cheering as well, it helped me through, hopefully next time I can go a step or two higher, I was nearly there but just had to fight it out at the end, I am proud of my effort today. I just focused on the things my coach gave me on each leg and at the end it just came down to turnover on the run, making it easier and not harder and keeping the legs moving. It was a bit of a struggle at the top of Palani but we came good in the last little bit and made it to the finish."

"There is always work to be done, it was so hard and I am so sore, back for a rest now I think."

The remainder of the day will see 2,500 plus age group athletes make their way to the finish line on Alii Drive, with a crowd of thousands ready to welcome them home and celebrate their efforts. Those age groupers include 48 brave Kiwis, many of whom will battle into the Kona evening to accomplish the stuff of dreams.

For all further updates you can track individual athletes via the IRONMAN Tracker App, or follow live coverage on Facebook all details at

2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship, Pro Men

1 Jan Frodeno, Germany, 7:51:13; 2 Tim O’Donnell, USA, 7:59:41; 3 Sebastian Kienle, Germany, 8:02:04; 4 Ben Hoffman, USA, 8:02:52; 5 Cameron Wurf, Australia, 8:06:41; 6 Joe Skipper, Great Britain, 8:07:46; 7 Braden Currie, New Zealand, 8:08:48; 8 Philipp Koutny, Switzerland, 8:10:29; 9 Bart Aernouts, Belgium, 8:12:27; 10 Chris Leiferman, United States, 8:13:37.

Pro Women

1 Anne Haug, Germany, 8:40:10; 2 Lucy Charles-Barclay, Great Britain, 8:46:44; 3 Sarah Crowley, Australia, 8:48:13; 4 Laura Philipp, Germany, 8:51:42; 5 Heather Jackson, USA, 8:54:44; 6 Kaisa Sali, Finland, 8:55:33; 7 Corinne Abraham, Great Britain, 8:58:38; 8 Carrie Lester, Australia, 8:58:40; 9 Daniela Bleymehl, Germany, 9:08:30; 10 Linsey Corbin, USA, 9:09:06.

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