Currie, Kessler win Taupo 70.3

Braden Currie of New Zealand and Meredith Kessler of the U.S. defended their 2015 titles to win Ironman 70.3 Taupo.


Currie led the men’s swim in 24:03, fell to 5th with a 6th-fastest 2:09:42 bike split and charged to the win with a race-best 1:14:42 run to finish in 3:52:44 with a 33 seconds margin of victory over fellow Kiwi Mike Phillips (2nd-fastest 1:16:45 run) and 4:12 over 3rd-place finisher Todd Skipworth of Australia (3rd-fastest 1:18:06 run).

Currie, based in Wanaka, struggled hard to stay in touch on the bike leg. “I just had to do what I could do on the bike and know that if I could remain within striking distance on the run then I would have a chance,” Currie told RNZ sports. Currie gained the lead midway through the run only to have Mike Phillips counter-attack and run beside him midway through the run. “I put an effort in to put 200 metres on Mike and I thought I was running well and he would be happy to sit there but it was a bit surprise to see him run up beside me. I took my time and then put down the hammer 5 kilometres out and knew I had to hang on."


Kessler led the women’s swim with a 25:35 split, posted a women's 2nd-best 2:23:38 bike split to take the lead at T2 and ran a women’s 2nd-best 1:27:53 split to finish in in 4:22:35 with a an 8 seconds margin of victory over fast-closing Laura Siddall of Great Britain (women’s-best 1:24:25 run).

“Of my seven wins here in Taupo, this was by far the hardest,” Kessler told Radio New Zealand. “Another 100 meters and think she could have beaten me. I am thrilled to win here. And now I will recover and prepare to return here in March for the New Zealand Ironman and attempt a six-peat which will be no easy task.”

Last year’s runner-up Amelia Watkinson of New Zealand took 3rd, 5:49 behind the winner.

Ironman 70.3 Taupo
Taupo, New Zealand
December 10, 2016
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.



1. Braden Currie (NZL) 3:52:44
2. Mike Phillips (NZL) 3:53:17
3. Todd Skipworth (AUS) 3:56:56
4. Eddie Rawles (NZL) 3:57:50
5. Drew Scott (USA) 3:58:09
6. Lachlan Kerin (AUS) 3:59:40
7. Dougal Allan (NZL) 3:59:53
8. Cameron Brown (NZL) 4:03:14
9. Paul Ambrose (AUS) 4:04:47
10. Simon Cochrane (NZL) 4:06:21


1. Meredith Kessler (USA) 4:22:35
2. Laura Siddall (GBR) 4:22:43
3. Amelia Watkinson (NZL) 4:28:24
4. Rebecca Elliot (NZL) 4:37:58 * F25-29
5. Alison Wilson (GBR) 4:39:05 * F25-29
6. Rebecca Clarke (NZL) 4:42:52
7. Laura Wood (NZL) 4:45:06
8. Tamsyn Hayes (NZL) 4:45:11
9. Hannah Lawrence (NZL) 4:45:19
10. Pip Meo (NZL) 4:52:03