Currie up for Kona challenge

Braden Currie
Braden Currie
Braden Currie is ready to test himself on endurance racing’s biggest stage.

The 31-year-old Wanaka athlete will line-up against the best in the world at tomorrow’s Ironman world championships in Kona, Hawaii.

One of the most prestigious and well-known races in world sport, the event consists of a 3.68km swim, 180km cycle and 42km run.

With athletes having to accumulate qualifying points to compete, the field represents the best of the best.

Despite all that, Currie was trying to take it as just another race, although admitted it was a big event.

"It’s definitely the biggest race I’ve ever done before in terms of prestige and size and athlete wise.

"Definitely probably the best athletes or the depth of the best athletes that I’ve ever come up against.

"But personally, I’m just trying to take it as another race."

Currie has been training in Boulder, Colorado, most recently, making use of the altitude and good training environment.

He has also had training blocks in New Zealand and Noosa over the past six months, as well as racing in Santa Cruz and Cairns.

Training had gone well and he felt he was in good condition heading into the race.

"I definitely feel like I’m in a really good space to race and looking forward to racing, which is probably the key.

"I’m injury free and managed to pull off a good last training block."

Having had success on the Xterra world tour in the past, the Ironman was something newer to Currie, although he now has a few Ironmans to his name.

In March he claimed a win in the New Zealand Ironman, and finished third in Ironman Asia Pacific in Australia.

While he was expecting top competition, he said a top 10 finish could be achievable if everything came together.

"I think when you get to this level you always back yourself that you could win as a chance.

"But there’s so many things that need to go my way for the race to work for me.

"Of course I’ll try, and I’ll be there to win.

"But you wouldn’t put your hand up and say you’re going to win Kona the first time around. You’d be crazy."

With temperatures over 30degC and humidity over 80%, Hawaii presented difficult racing conditions.

However, Currie has raced there in the past and knows what to expect.

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