[Editor's note: Pro triathlete Braden Currie kicked off his 2022 racing season with a win at Tauranga Half, one of New Zealand's most famous events. We're proud to present the race report below from Braden and his support crew. (Photo: Sally Currie)]
Today, professional triathlete, Braden Currie, crossed the finish line in first place in what could be his first and last race in his home nation of New Zealand during the 2022 season. Currie finished ahead of Jack Moody and Sam Osbourne in the iconic Tauranga Half event. Currie noted that he wanted to make the most of the day after government officials announced earlier in the week some planned Omicron protection restrictions and the impact they would have on similar events.
“This race meant a lot," said Currie. "New Zealand is my favorite place to race, and this may be the last time I stand on the start line here for a while with the inevitable move to ‘red.’ Once Omicron is in the community, many events will need to cancel, so I wanted to make the most of today and really enjoy it. The next time I race will likely be overseas, unless Omicron stays at bay until April."
In addition to winning the race today, Currie also took home the title of 2022 Long Distance Triathlon Champion and, some would say, broke the current course record which was set last year by Kyle Smith at a time of 3 hours 39 minutes and 43 seconds. Today, Currie finished 32 seconds short of this, however, the bike course was two kilometers longer compared to last year. Can he claim it? Perhaps unofficially, but Currie's son, thirteen-year-old Tarn Currie, sure thinks so! It wasn’t just his dad hard at work today, as Tarn made his podium debut in the 5km running event, coming in third place and leaving the Currie family wondering, will he follow in his dad's footsteps?
“He’s determined," said Currie. "But I’m trying to tell him to do something more exciting, like mountain biking! But he’s a pretty talented runner, so who knows?"
The Tauranga Half has been part the Mount Maunganui summer since 1990, making it one of New Zealand's longest running and most popular triathlon events in New Zealand.
“It was a good day," Currie continued. "I don’t feel as tired as I normally would. I had a great swim. It’s not often I get away from those guys in the swim, so it was nice to get clear, which meant I could do my own thing for the first hour, at least until Mike Phillips caught me on the bike. I knew Mike would ride well, but I knew as long as I stuck with him, I was confident my run would take me where I wanted to be. It’s a good start to the season, and I really appreciate everyone’s support on the sidelines. It was awesome out there."
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