Braden Currie of New Zealand outran 5-time ITU World Champion Javier Gomez in his Ironman debut to win the Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship. And second-time Ironman Teresa Adam of New Zealand used a superior swim to top 3-time Kona World Champion Mirinda Carfrae in her return to Ironman racing at Cairns 8 months after the birth of her daughter Isabelle.
After matching swim and bike splits with the Spaniard, Currie finished in 7:54:59 to edge runner-up Gomez by 1:41, thanks in large part to a sizzling 2:40:00 marathon that bested the Ironman rookie’s also-stellar 2:41:03 split. Currie, who finished third at this race last year, smashed Josh Amberger’s 2017 race record by 7:19.
After a hotly contested bike leg, 2018 Ironman New Zealand champ Terenzo Bozzone led Denis Chevrot of France at T2 by 1 second and a pack of five men including Kyle Buckingham of South Africa, Tim Reed of Australia, Currie, Tim O’Donnell of the U.S., and Gomez by 33 to 52 seconds.
A see-saw battle among four men ensued. By 10km of the run, Currie and Bozzone led Gomez by 19 seconds and O’Donnell by 34 seconds. At 14km, Gomez caught Currie and Bozzone with O’Donnell 57 seconds back in 4th. At 16km, Gomez and Currie were running elbow to elbow, with Bozzone 43 seconds arrears and O’Donnell 1 minute back and catching Bozzone. Tim Reed was 3:20 behind in 5th and Kyle Buckingham of South Africa 4:20 back of the leaders in 6th.
At 21km, Currie and Gomez led by 2 minutes over Bozzone and O’Donnell. At 30km, neither Gomez nor Currie gave an inch with O’Donnell 2:29 back and Bozzone 4:30 back in 4th.
With 7 kilometers left, Currie made a surge and led Gomez by 10 seconds. By 35km, Bozzone closed to within 1 minute of O’Donnell while Currie extended his lead over Gomez to 40 seconds. By 38km, Bozzone caught O’Donnell.
After a 2:40:00 run, Currie finished in 7:54:59 with a 1:41 margin on Gomez (2:41:03 run), 5:08 on 3rd place Bozzone (2:46:00 run), and 5:56 on 4th place O’Donnell (2:46:021 run).
Former water polo pro Adam, coming off a 2nd place Ironman debut at Taupo in March, started off with a women’s second-best 50:42 swim that put her 2:02 behind Lauren Brandon of the U.S. and 10:24 ahead of three-time Ironman World Champion and 2007 Ironman 70.3 World Champion Carfrae. Adam then took the lead from Brandon on her way to a women’s-best 4:50:13 bike split that was just 18 seconds better than Carfrae’s effort.
Carfrae, renowned as the best women's runner in the sport, ran a women’s third-best 3:03:20 marathon which sliced 5:25 off Adam’s 10:28 advantage at T2, but left her well behind the Kiwi at the line.
Adam finished in 8:53:17, which was a race record by 4:57 over Sarah Crowley’s 2017 mark and gave her a 6:01 margin of victory over Carfrae.
Adam told Ironman media she could not believe it. After many years of injuries at the Olympic distance, she moved up to the longer distances just for fun. Two years ago she did the half distance, then Ironman New Zealand.
"So to win this is quite weird,” she said. “I really can't believe it – and a course record!"
Carfrae was greeted at the finish by her husband Tim O'Donnell and her baby daughter Isabelle. "That course, especially the bike, is stunning,” said Carfrae. “I enjoyed most of it. The support here in Cairns is unbelievable."
Beth McKenzie of the U.S., coming off a two-year suspension for testing positive for the banned substance Ostarine at Ironman Australia in 2016 – which she asserted came into her system unintentionally from contaminated salt pills – had a great comeback race. McKenzie, neé Gerdes, closed fast with a women’s-best 2:55:24 marathon to take 3rd, 9:54 behind the winner.
Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship
June 10, 2018
S 2.4 mi. / B 112 mi / R 26.2 mi.
1. Braden Currie (NZL) 7:54:59 S 46:46 T1 2:11 B 4:24:53 T2 1:11 R 2:40:00
2. Javier Gomez (ESP) 7:56:39 S 46:42 T1 2:15 B 4:25:09 T2 1:32 R 2:41:03
3. Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) 8:00:07 S 48:44 T 1:59 B 4:22:31 T2 00:55 R 2:46:00
4. Tim O’Donnell (USA) 8:00:55 S 46:43 T1 2:13 B 4:24:59 T2 1:01 R 2:46:01
5. Denis Chevrot (FRA) 8:07:26 S 48:47 T1 2:10 B 4:22:18 T2 1:13 R 2:53:00
6. Kyle Buckingham (RSA) 8:12:39
7. Tim Van Berkel (AUS) 8:15:12
8. Tim Reed (AUS) 8:17:49
9. David Plese (SLO) 8:18:36
10. Callum Millward (NZL) 8:19:52
1. Teresa Adam (NZL) 8:53:17 S 50:42 T1 2:26 B 4:50:13 T2 1:12 R 3:08:45
2. Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) 8:59:18 S 1:01:06 T1 2:13 B 4:50:31 T2 2:09 R 3:03:20
3. Beth McKenzie (USA) 9:03:11 S 1:01:39 T1 2:45 B 5:01:27 T2 1:58 R 2:55:24
4. Gurutze Frades (ESP) 9:09:53 S 1:01:37 T1 2:35 V 5:01:35 T2 1:10 R 3:02:59
5. Melanie Burke (NZL) 9:12:32 S 1:01:40 T1 2:46 B 4:546:50 T2 1:12 R 3:10:07
6. Asa Lundstrom (SWE) 9:18:58
7. Lauren Brandon (USA) 9:20:29
8. Amanda Wilson (AUS) 9:40:52
9. Sue Huse (SUI) 10:06:49