Subaru brand ambassador Braden Currie does the Hawaii world champs race double-up
It will be a tough turn-around but if anyone can go from racing the World IRONMAN Championship to two weeks later fronting up at the World XTERRA Championship, it is the versatile Subaru brand ambassador Braden Currie.
Unlike many professional athletes who dedicate themselves solely to one form of racing, Currie (31) has the ability to switch from the gruelling 8-plus-hours, on-road IRONMAN distance, to the XTERRA off-road triathlons, which he can complete in just under three hours. Conveniently for Currie there is minimal travel between these two contrasting events as both are held in Hawaii.
This Monday morning (NZST) he will line up on the beach in Kapalua, on the island of Maui, against 39 other elite men to start with a 1.5km ocean swim. Next up is a 32km mountain bike that climbs 1000m up and down the lower slopes of the West Maui Mountains, and then the race finishes with a high-speed 10.5km trail run that traverses forest tracks, and beach sand.
Wanaka-based Currie is looking forward to leaving his road bike in the shed and swapping it out with his mountain bike, which he has been using twice a week as cross training. An eight-week training block in Noosa recently, saw Subaru Australia supply Currie with an Outback. It enabled him to carry both bikes easily on the roof racks and also fit in his family and all their gear for some fun adventures in between his training programme.
“XTERRA World Championships has long been a focus race for me. This year I have been working towards the IRONMAN worlds, so it’s exciting to be returning to the off-road format and just having some fun with it,” Currie says.
After placing as high as second in the XTERRA Worlds before and finishing fourth last year, his aims for the 2017 event are to: “Race as hard as I can and see where that takes me. It’s hard to know how I will perform compared to previous years, off the back of Kona ( IRONMAN) and more endurance-focused training over the last 12 months,” Currie says.
He had a tough debut in the Kona, Hawaii IRONMAN on October 15. The on-road race started positively with Currie posting a fast 3.8km swim time followed by an early lead on the 180km road bike. A large metal staple punctured his tyre and after a course mechanic swapped it out for a new wheel, Currie charged on to make up the minutes lost. Devastation struck when a marshal handed him a five-minute penalty. The reasons for it are still being investigated.
After that, with his hopes of a top ten finish smashed, Currie hung in there to “tick the box” and finish the race.
With only two weeks until his next major race, he has been focused on taking it easy and keeping the training load light.
“Recovery-wise I just try and listen to what my body is telling me and rest up as much as I need to. I swim for active recovery and integrate as much massage, good nutrition and compression therapy as I can. I also try and take a break mentally and just enjoy the downtime by spending time with the kids and my wife.