Highlights of the Kiwi’s impressive 27-year career.
Cameron Brown is seemingly immune to the effects of time. The New Zealand native, who will turn 43 years old in June, made history last week as the oldest person to win an Ironman when he notched his 11th victory in Taupo, New Zealand. Despite a full race calendar, a strong loyalty to his wife and two sons, and commitments to sponsors lasting decades, the legendary triathlete has shown no signs of slowing down.
Brown has shied away from the title of “legend,” saying he “doesn’t feel like one.” Many would beg to differ. Some highlights of his impressive 27-year triathlon career:
1990: Whangamata Triathlon: 18 year-old Cameron Brown beats former world champion (and Brown’s idol) Rick Wells.
1992: At the ITU World Championsips in Huntsville, Canada, Brown takes second place in the Men’s Junior Division, where the field included future triathlon stars Normann Stadler, Hunter Kemper, Paul Amey and Brandon Marsh.
1993: In his first year racing in the Elite Men’s division of the ITU, Brown places seventh at the World Cup. He would go on to chalk a total of 9 top-10 finishes at ITU World Cup Events.
1995: Brown takes his first national victory at the New Zealand Sprint Championships. He would go on to win the title two more times (1997 and 1998).
2001: Brown takes his first Ironman victory in his home country of New Zealand, an accomplishment he called “a dream come true.”
2001: Brown takes second place to American Tim DeBoom at the Ironman World Championships.
2002: Brown takes third place at the Ironman World Championships, following Champion DeBoom and runner-up Peter Reid.
2003: Brown takes third place at the Ironman World Championship behind winner Reid and Belgian Rutger Beke.
2005: Brown takes second place to Faris Al-Sultan at the Ironman World Championship, clocking an 8:19:36—his best time to date in Kona.
2007: During a training ride in January 2007, Brown and training partners are hit from behind by a car in New Zealand. Weeks later, Brown takes the win at the Port of Tauranga Half Ironman.
2007: In one of the most exciting races of his career, Brown ran neck-and-neck with Aussie Luke Bell for much of the marathon, finally pulling away in the final stretch to set an Ironman New Zealand course record of 8:18:04. The record remained intact for five years.
2008: After riding close to 30 miles on a tire with a slow leak, Brown runs his way up from tenth to fifth place at the Ironman World Championships.
2011: On a rainy day in Taupo, New Zealand, Brown becomes the first person to win the same Ironman race ten times.
2012: Brown sets an Ironman personal best of 8:00:12 en route to taking second place at the Ironman Asia-Pacific Championships in Melbourne, Australia.
2014: At 41 years of age, Brown becomes the oldest winner of an Ironman event with an 8:20:14 performance at Ironman Cairns.
2014: Brown follows his victory at Cairns by setting a course record of 8:28:21 in challenging heat and humidity at Indonesia’s iron-distance event Metaman Bintan.
2014: A jellyfish attack during the swim leg of Ironman Malaysia sends Brown onto the bike in excruciating pain. Unable to stand upright upon arrival in T2, Brown is forced to withdraw from the race.
2014: Two months after withdrawing from Ironman Malaysia, Brown takes the win at Ironman 70.3 Taiwan.
2015: Brown secures his 11th Ironman New Zealand title with a time of 8:22:12.