Wanaka athlete Braden Currie recently competed in the Ironman 70.3 world championship in South Africa.
The championships are a shorter ironman event consisting of a 1.9km swim at Kings Beach, a 90km bike ride and a 21km run along Marine Dr in Port Elizabeth in South Africa.
Currie finished eighth in a competition that featured world-class athletes such as Olympic gold medallist Jan Frodeno, of Germany, Alistair Brownlee, of the United Kingdom, and Javier Gomez, of Spain.
Q What was the course like for the world championships in South Africa?
It was a pretty amazing course, actually. It is a really beautiful coastline.
The swim course was pretty exposed and open to the ocean; it was a beautiful, clear swim.
The bike course was rolling undulations, similar to Wanaka in a way, very scenic.
The run was in the downtown of Port Elizabeth. It had a good atmosphere and there was plenty going on, so it was a great course.
Q What is your best asset when competing?
I think when it comes down to competing at this level it is a lot to do with being calm and confident in those environments.
They are quite high-pressure environments when you have got probably four of the best triathletes ever on this planet racing in the same race as you are.
So being able to absorb the immensity of the situation at the same time as well as performing your best.
Q What makes a good athlete?
Determination, grit, and getting the work done. I guess sticking in there. It takes a while to develop your ability to race at this level, so figuring it out and learning from your mistakes.
Q Do you miss Wanaka while you are away?
I love Wanaka. It is my home.
I miss the mountains and the lake, the environment and the people. It is an amazing place to call home and to spend time in, so I definitely miss it a lot.
Q What is your next goal?
My next goal is Kona [Hawaii] in six weeks’ time, so I’m back to Noosa in Australia to finish off my last training block, then I will head out to Kona for two weeks, which is the Ironman world championship.