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Currie and Simson defend Coast to Coast titles

Currie and Simson defend Coast to Coast titles

13 February 2015

Wanaka athletes Braden Currie and Jess Simson defended their Speight’s Coast to Coast titles, both winning in different but equally impressive ways.

Currie raced from the front, pushing the pace in the first bike leg as part of an 11 man break to then get away from the leaders in the mountain run to win in 11 hours and 27 minutes while Simson came from behind, chasing down Simone Maier who carried over a four minute lead into the 33 kilometre run over Goat Pass.

“It was as challenging as it can get,” Curries said. “But I believed I could do it so I’m pretty happy.”

“It was tough; definitely as hard as I’ve had to race in a while. I could say I went to some pretty dark places today, so I’m really happy just to be finished.”

Second placed Sam Clark pushed Currie in the run, but Currie was confident that if he pushed as hard as he could and Clark tried to stay with him, he would ‘hurt him’ and mange to pull away, which is exactly what happened.

Currie had to battle through without nutrition or water on the kayak leg after his smoothly mix system jammed and he pulled his water pipe out at the start of the 67 kilometre river section, leaving him with only five gels.

“It was really tough,” he said. “I had points where I just wanted to stop and fix it but you just know they’d be precious minutes so you just cope without it and I just pushed and pushed and it was a really tough call not to fix it.”

Clark said he never gave up hope of catching Currie, stressing he thought it was ‘never over till it’s over, until both men cross the line’ and planned to be back on the start line next year to push for one spot higher.

Simson, who won in thirteen hours and five minutes, was very pleased to have executed and achieved all her race goals so was ‘pretty stoked’ with the result saying she really enjoyed the kayak.

“I just got to cruise down the river in my own time, but once it got windy I got way more motivated and I think I needed something just a little bit more extreme. I achieved all my race goals so you can’t really go better than that – everything went exactly how I planned it.”

Maier held on for second coming home nineteen minutes after Simson with two champion Elina Ussher third, three and a half minutes behind Maier.

Trevor Voyce held off a fast finishing Nathan Fa’avae to claim third, finishing 37 minutes after Clark but only two minutes ahead of the 43 year old veteran world championship adventure racer racing the event for the first time in 14 years.

Two day team favourites Tim Pearson and Ryan Kiesanowski built on their first day lead of 17 minutes to win by 33 minutes in eleven hours and fifty one minutes.

Kevin O’Donnell over hauled opening day leader Nathan Jones to win the two day men’s individual event from Nathan Jones in twelve hours and twelve minutes while Olivia Spencer-Bower stormed home in the kayak to overtake overnight leader women’s two day individual leader Hannah Norton, winning in fourteen hours and twenty four minutes.


© Scoop Media

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