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Getting To Know New Zealand’s Cameron Brown

In March, Cameron Brown broke the tape at the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Ironman New Zealand, nabbing a historic 10th victory.

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In March, Cameron Brown broke the tape at the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Ironman New Zealand, nabbing a historic 10th victory.

Written by: Holly Bennett

Cameron Brown crosses the finish line as the Ironman New Zealand champion for the 10th time. Photo: Delly Carr/Sportshoot

Never before has a pro athlete dominated a long-course event in such fashion, yet the unassuming New Zealander hasn’t let the unprecedented winning streak go to his head. Nor have five top-five Kona finishes, the win at the 2006 European Ironman Championship or being named one of Inside Triathlon magazine’s 10 Greatest Iron-distance Triathletes of All Time.

Terms of endearment: Most people call me Brownie or otherwise Chuckie (from Charlie Brown). It has nothing to do with throwing up!

Not the smoothest move: I’ve been training and racing for quite a long time, so of course I’ve had plenty of bike crashes over the years. The most embarrassing one was when I was looking at a girl while riding along the Auckland waterfront. I went straight over the handlebars! She didn’t even notice.

Home cooking: I have the same pre-race meal before every big event—my mum’s salmon pasta. It always does the trick.

My better half: Jenny and I met when we were 21 years old. Both of our best friends were dating and they set us up. Jenny is a primary school teacher so it’s great having different interests. Triathlon is left at the front door after 3 p.m.—from then on it’s family time. She’s a wonderfully outstanding mum, wife and friend. I’m a very lucky boy to have her!

Who, me? I know people sometimes call me a legend. I don’t feel like one. I still look up to my own heroes from when I was a Junior—guys like Kiwi Rick Wells, Mike Pigg and Mark Allen. Those guys are the true legends.

Before swim, bike & run, the scrum: I think every Kiwi wants to be an All Blacks rugby player when he’s growing up. Rugby is our national sport, and we are all obsessed by it. I was no different—but then I found triathlon.

Maybe 11 will do the trick? I won my 10th Ironman New Zealand title by 10 minutes. I’ve tried playing versions of 10 in the lottery, but nothing’s come up a winning number yet. Guess I have to keep trying!