Triathlon: Kiwi great Cameron Brown prepares for swansong at Ironman NZ

One of New Zealand's greatest ever endurance triathletes, Cameron Brown, has decided to step away from the professional arena. 

His career spanned 35 years, in that time he won 12 Ironman New Zealand crowns, and had 4 podium finishes at the World Championships. 

Next weekend, Brown will compete in his last ever Ironman Taupo elite race - marking the end of an era.

"I never thought I'd still be competing 35 years later, so it's been a pretty cool career," Brown told Newshub.

"But all good things come to an end at some point."

That good thing began in 1990, when he was just 18 years old. After struggling to make it as a short form triathlete, he tried his luck at Ironman in 1997 and the rest is history. (shots of him crossing the line in 2016).

His first Ironman New Zealand title came in 2001, a moment that he still cherishes.

"That was pretty special," Brown reflected. "It was a dream come true.

"I had watched the race as a teenager down in St Heliers, when the race was held there."

Before he almost conquered the greatest race of them all, finishing second at the World Championships in Hawaii - a result he repeated in 2005. 

He'd go on to claim a staggering 12 Ironman NZ titles - the last of which came in 2016.

"Pretty happy with what I've done in my career," Brown added. "You know there's been a lot of ups and downs, like in any sport."

Brown's bulging trophy cabinet speaks for itself, even boasting a Halberg Award for Sportsman of the Year, won in 2001.

But with the bike secured away for another journey to Taupo, don't expect a fairytale finish to his time as a professional.

"I'd have to have an extremely good day and everyone would have to have an extremely bad day for me to top the podium or anything like that," he admitted.

Regardless of how the race ends, Brown's place in history was assured many years ago.

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