The Port of Tauranga Half saw a record-breaking race with Braden Currie crossing the finish line at 3:45:38.
Reigning champions Braden Currie and Amelia Rose Watkinson both successfully defended their titles at the weekend event.
Braden turned out an incredible performance to win the Port of Tauranga Half in the weekend in race record time, and smashed the previous race record by two minutes.
He was second out of the water in the 2k swim, 29 seconds adrift of Eddie Rawles.
Eddie headed out strongly on the bike, before being picked by Currie on the second leg of the 90k bike.
From there, Braden showed his speed on the 21k run leg to record a 2 minute 17 second victory over long-distance legend Cameron Brown.
Braden was delighted with his race record performance.
“I got into a good rhythm on the bike, initially focusing on catching Eddie Rawles before maintaining the gap on the remainder of the bike and run leg,” says Braden.
“I always enjoy this event. It is at a great time of the year, with good crowd support throughout the course. You are also on your own round the back of the mountain, which gives you a chance to reflect and take in the scenery.”
Cameron Brown defied his 44 years of age with an outstanding performance to finish second. He was 13th out of the water, with a 1 minute 51 second deficit to Braden at that point of the race.
Brown used his incredible strength on the bike and run legs to come up through the field into the runner-up position.
The Port of Tauranga Half is key preparation for Cameron Brown's defense of the NZ Ironman Title in March, and he showed today that he is in outstanding form eight weeks out from that event.
The surprise packet in today's event was 19-year-old Hayden Wilde from Whakatane in his first long distance event.
He announced himself to the multi-sport world last year in winning the two day event at the Coast to Coast, and his performance in the Port of Tauranga Half today shows that he has a massive future in the sport, leading Cameron Brown until the final 5kms of the event.
In the women's field, Amelia Rose Watkinson again showed that she is the country's premier women's long distance triathlete defending her title at Mount Maunganui.
Amelia trailed by 2 minutes 40 seconds out of the water but stormed through the field on the bike leg to eventually win by a 2 minutes 34 second margin.
For Amelia, the Port of Tauranga Half has come at the end of the long season of racing in Asian, where she recorded 10 triathlon wins in a break-through year for the 25 year old triathlete.
She showed her class on the bike and run legs at Mount Maunganui this morning.
“It was a fast swim leg with plenty of short course triathlon specialists in the field,” she says. “I had to be patient on the bike leg to catch the group in front of me.
“This event completes a very long season for me and was a cool way to finish. After so many events in Asian it was great to race at home in front of friends and family, and the amazing public support here.”
Second place getter in the women's field, Julia Grant from Canterbury will be delighted with her performance, finishing two places better and more than 15 minutes faster than last year. Grant had a great battle through the run leg with Aucklander Teresa Adam who finished third in only her second attempt at the long distance format.
The Port of Tauranga Half doubles as the 2017 National Long Distance Triathlon Championships so Braden Currie and Amelia Rose Watkinson have defended their national titles, while the national champ in various age groups was found.
Port of Tauranga Half Results – Saturday, 7 January 2017
• Braden Currie (Wanaka) 3:45:38 (Race Record)
• Cameron Brown (Auckland) 3:47:55
• Hayden Wilde (Whakatane) 3:48:33
• Alexander Polizzi 3:50:11
• Simon Cochrane (Hamilton) 3:53:05
• Amelia Rose Watkinson (Hawkes Bay) 4:16:30
• Julia Grant (Ashburton) 4:19:04
• Teresa Adam (Auckland) 4:20:08
• Tamsyn Haynes 4:23:44
• Alaina Brent 4:24:35
Age Group Men's
20-24 Years 1. Hayden Moorhouse 4:25:26
2. Liam Bullen 4:28:24
3. Kotahi Paranihi 4:30:59
25-29 Years 1. William Tennant 4:23:49
2. Kit Bennett 4:32:13
3.Reece Stieller 4:43:20
30-34 Years 1. Bobby Dean 4:06:18
2. Peter Campbell 4:07:11
3. Richard Speer 4:07:25
35-39 Years 1. Graeme Buscke 4:07:20
2. Brodie Madgwick 4:09:00
3. Quetin Fogarty 4:10:10
40-44 Years 1. Rob Dallimore 4:16:34
2. Andy Thornton 4:18:48
3. AJ Cornwall 4:23:37
45-49 Years 1. Jason Morris 4:15:59
2. Scott Furness 4:16:10
3. John Hughes 4:17:34
50-54 Years 1. Tony O'Hagan 4:23:42
2. Tim Brenton-Rule 4:31:16
3. Andrew Whitford 4:35:42
55-59 Years 1. Stephen Farrell 4:22:23
3. Mark Burke 4:36:13
60-64 Years 1. Cor Story 4:49:16
2. Bill Revell 4:58:17
3. Geoffrey Stoddart 5:02:28
65-69 Years 1. Stu Witchell 4:59:23
2. Clyve Cousins 5:14:51
3. Geoff Martin 5:18:56
70-74 Years 1. Ray Lichtwark 5:29:40
2. Richard Sweetman 6:28:12
3. Manfred Schmid 6:51:38
75-79 Years 1. Brian Boyle 6:03:34
80+ Years 1. Garth Barfoot 8:39:55
Age Group Women's
20-24 Years 1. Paige Francis-Monrad 5:31:21
20-24 Years 1. Emily Ryan 5:21:51
2. Maddison Shanks 5:36:52
3. Hannah Phillips 7:29:05
25-29 Years 1. Alison Wilson 4:23:40
2. Nicola McCormick 4:36:45
3. Katherine Readon 4:36:54
30-34 Years 1. Emma Hutchings 4:37:29
2. Pamela Meyer 4:44:02
3. Victoria Wiltshire 4:44:06
35-39 Years 1. Natalie Gaskin 4:28:04
2. Kerri Anne Dewe 4:39:57
3. Diana Simpson 4:42:03
40-44 Years 1. Serena Hammond 4:41:32
2. Karen Russo 5:01:56
3.Shan Maas 5:11:33
45-49 Years 1. Katrina Whaanga 5:00:18
2. Jo Tisch 5:09:34
3. Jen McDermott 5:10:53
50-54 Years 1. Linda Exeter-Grant 4:54:17
2. Jane Baldwin 5:10:55
3.Carla Ijssennagger 5:21:59
55-59 Years 1. Marie Briant 5:40:41
2. Madeline McIntosh 5:41:20
3. Sue Everton 5:50:21
60-64 Years 1. Debbie Clark 5:19:28
2. Karen Nancarrow 6:47:02
65-69 Years 1. Shirley Jean Rolston 6:39:07