New Zealand’s Braden Currie and Teresa Adam turned in blazing times to post new course records and earn the big victories.
With big Kona Pro Ranking points and prize money (totaling $150,000) on tap, a top professional field showed up for Sunday’s Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship in Cairns, Australia. There were several big storylines, with the focus on five-time ITU world champion Javier Gomez’s Ironman debut, and three-time Ironman world champion Mirinda Carfrae’s return to the distance after welcoming a daughter in 2017. Though each of those athletes were strong with runner-up finishes, it was a pair of New Zealand athletes who proved to be the fastest athletes of the day.
Braden Currie was fourth out of the water (46:46 split), fifth off of the bike (4:24:53), and then ran away from the field with a blistering 2:40:00 marathon to post the new course record of 7:54:59. Gomez had a solid Ironman debut performance with a strong swim and bike, and a very fast 2:41:03 marathon to finish off the day in second (and under the elusive eight-hour mark) at 7:56:38. New Zealand’s Terenzo Bozzone finished in the final podium spot at 8:00:06, with Tim O’Donnell finishing as the first American in fourth at 8:00:54.
Adam was the surprise winner in only her second attempt at the 140.6-mile distance. She was second out of the water (50:42 split) and then broke away from the field—using a 4:50:13 bike split to come into T2 with a five-minute advantage over USA’s Lauren Brandon and a 10-minute advantage over Carfrae. She finished her day off with a 3:08:45 marathon to earn the course-record victory in 8:53:17. Carfrae completed her effort with a 3:03:20 marathon to finish second in 8:59:18. American Beth McKenzie ran her way from seventh off of the bike to third at the finish line in 9:03:11 thanks to an impressive 2:55:24 marathon.