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Kiwis Inspire at Ironman World Championships

Kiwis Inspire at Ironman World Championships

The IRONMAN World Championships are over for another year, and dreams are realized, or in some cases left unfulfilled as Kona flexed her muscles and threw all she could at the 39 Kiwis on the start line last Sunday morning.

For the many amazing stories of achievement, there will be some of disappointment or heartache, but that is what makes this event and the location so special, it is just so hard to conquer, with thousands of athletes all around the world trying to quality each year.

The Kiwis were resilient though, with a high finish rate amongst the 37 age groupers and the two pros Terenzo Bozzone and Braden Currie, with Bozzone leading the way with an outstanding 6th place finish while Currie was dogged by a puncture and penalty after leading early on the bike.

Conditions on the island were tough, with heavy rain and overcast conditions 48 hours prior to race day giving way to a hot, humid and windy day, testing the resolve of all who dared take on the famed 3.8km swim, 180km bike and 42.2km run.

Brisbane based Warren Keenan spoke of his proudest day in his eight years of competing in triathlons as he overcame some dark moments to finish last Sunday New Zealand time.

“I'm now an IRONMAN World championship finisher, how good is that!

“My swim was pretty clean, a few collisions but not too bad. The water was amazing, so clear but I didn't see any fish - they must of all got scared away! On the bike I had it in my plan to keep the pace backed off slightly and increase where I could without my heart rate increasing too high. The head wind was crazy at times though, with my speed down to 18kph in some spots. But after getting my special needs nutrition and turning with the wind, I was in my element and sat at 60kph for a while and just had to hang on and correct the bike when a gust from the side hit me.

“The body felt good at the start of the run but the conditions were shocking - no wind and hot as hell, this is where I went downhill. I couldn't get my core temperature down enough to run, I was running between aid stations then getting ice down the front and back of my tri suit, in my cap on my head and taking on Gatorade at every aid station, it wasn't working I was getting hotter and hotter. I thought my race was over but someone or something from above told me to get my shit together and start running. I managed to cool down enough and then as the day got on, the air cooled off a bit and I turned and put my foot down to the finish.

“Even though this was my slowest IRONMAN time I put this down to my best success, as I not only finished in a good time but I pulled myself out of a really deep spot mid run where I could have continued walking or pulled out, that wasn't going to be an option.

“I am very happy and so great full to be here and have completed this amazing race known as the toughest IRONMAN on the planet, I hope to be back one day if I can pull off a qualifying spot again.”

Rob Dallimore overcame the conditions and a little too much salt water to come home in under ten hours.

“It was a pretty tough day. The swim was nice and flat which was pleasant but as soon as I was on the bike I knew it was going to be hot. I had taken on some sea water so was struggling to take on fuel with a crook gut for the first 2 hours, but I came right.

“Heading up to Hawi the wind was quite strong and it was really heating up. The descent from Hawi was pretty fast with a strong pretty fast with a strong cross/tailwind. Back on the Queen K it was a pretty solid block headwind for the last 40km with even more heat.

“Running along Ali'i Drive it was super-hot and humid and there were plenty of people struggling. Up on the Queen K and through the Energy Lab the heat was oppressive and each aid station couldn't come soon enough. It was a relief to hit Ali'i Drive for the finish line.

“I loved seeing all the support for the kiwis out there and it was great to see Terenzo have a great race and to see Braden was prominent too. It is excellent seeing Kiwis strong in the elite race.”

Deputy Principal Katrina Whaanga raced strongly to finish in just over 11 and a half hours, proudly wearing her Iron Maori race suit and no doubt doing all the students at Hamilton Girls High proud, as well as family, friends and staff who made the journey to support her on the day.

Amongst the impressive array of stories and achievements for New Zealand was the finish of Diana Simpson, the Aucklander just missing going under ten hours and coming home 4th in her age group but an even more impressive 34th overall female finisher. Michelle Allison also impressed, finishing on the podium (third) in her 60 to 64 age group with a time of 12:24:04.

IRONMAN World Championships, New Zealand Results

Pro: Terenzo Bozzone, Auckland, 8:13:06 (6th); Braden Currie, Wanaka, 8:50:05 (30th);
Age Group: Rob Wylie, Auckland, 12:08:17; Heather Allison, Red Beach, 16:00:06; Shirley Rolston, Tai Tapu, no finish time (recorded at 16:34:00 at the 40km mark on the marathon); Tony Dallinger, Cambridge, no finish time; Graeme Macdonald, Whangarei, 12:12:38; Michele Allison, Wellington, 12:24:04; John Dickson, Melbourne,12:02:35; Stephen Farrell, Auckland, 11:14:13; Peter Westlake, Fort Myers, 12:52:03; Vicki Earl, Auckland, no finish time (recorded at 16:31:00 at the 40km mark on marathon); Sue McMaster, New Plymouth, 11:54:13; John Fredericksen, Christchurch, 13:03:44; Tony O’Hagan, Auckland, 11:23:43; Louise Corbett, Nelson, 12:29:28; Linda Exeter-Grant, Napier, 12:56:00; Duane Braithwaite, Papamoa, 13:35:21; Dean Galt, Wellington, 10:10:01; Allan Jefferson, Hyde Park, 10:15:42; Warren Keenan, Brisbane, 11:23:51; Jason Morris, Auckland, 10:15:08; Katrina Whaanga, Hamilton, 11:36:22; Alan Bryson, Nelson, 10:23:02; Rob Dallimore, Auckland, 9:50:17; Scott Hotham, Auckland, 10:55:29; Nathan Peterson, Christchurch, 11:02:17; Andrew Smith, Auckland, 10:28:13; Stephen Brown, Wanaka, no finish time (recorded at 6:24:31 at the end of the bike leg); Paul Davies, Peregian Springs, 10:31:34; Brodie Madgwick, Auckland, 9:38:17; Kerri Dewe, Auckland, 11:13:41; Diana Simpson, Auckland, 10:06:32; Natalie Smith, Wellington, 11:58:42; Jason Schoeman, Newmarket, 10:20:40; Shannon Proffit, Brisbane, 11:18:23; James Shapcott; Perth, 11:10:18; Florence Loader, Rangiora, 12:21:47; Phil Richards, Gold Coast, 11:18:11.


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