Ironman: Kiwi Braden Currie shatters course record in Cairns to claim third title

Kiwi Braden Currie has emerged victorious at Ironman Cairns Asia-Pacific championship, crossing the line in 7h 50m 10s to shatter the course record in North Queensland.

In the perfect build-up to this year's Ironman world championship in France, Currie stormed home as the fastest across all three disciplines -  a 3.8km swim, 180km bike and 42.2km run distance.

The title is Currie's third at Ironman Cairns, after also winning the event in 2018 and 2019.

The Kiwi bettered the previous record, set by Australia's Max Neumann, who completed the course in 7h 52m 54s in 2022.

Locked in a shootout with compatriot Mike Phillips and Steve McKenna, Currie, 37, showed his class in the run. 

Overtaking Phillips, Currie opened up a 10-minute lead during the marathon and saw his advantage all the way to the finish-line.

"What a day," Currie said. "Cairns is probably the best atmosphere I've ever raced in.

"You make the hurt just hurt so much less. It's good to get older and good to get faster, I guess.

"I didn't even expect to go that fast. I didn't have a watch for the first two kilometres - I must have dropped it during transition - so I had no idea what paces I was running.

"I was patient, I played the game a little bit. I tried to make it happen and just had fresher legs from not riding so hard that I could pull off a consistent run.

"It's so special. There's not many people who can be in my position and get an opportunity like this.

"I'm so grateful to race hard, and have my beautiful kids and wife here to support me through it."

McKenna saw off competition from Phillip to finish second, while Australian Tim Van Berkel completed the podium in third.