Howick and Pakuranga Times
Botany and Ormiston Times : Howick and Botany Times Wednesday February 26
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Terms and conditioners: Offers are only available at Andrew Simms Botany and not in conjunction with any other offer. Finance is with deposit and residual payments as stated at an interest rate of 13.9% normal lending criteria apply. 124018 FOLLOW US ON IVAN AGNEW: How to solve a problem like new rugby recruit Benji Marshall is just one of the questions facing Blues coach Sir John Kirwan. ➤ Page 23 Brown looks back at Ironman NZ Botany multisport marvel Cameron Brown on his way to third in last year’s Ironman New Zealand at Taupo. Times photo Daniel Silverton By Daniel Silverton IT’S fitting the inaugural Ironman New Zealand carried the surname of the man who would become synonymous with the gru- elling race. In 1985, New Zealand became the first country to stage an Ironman tria- thlon outside of the origi- nal long-distance epic at Kona, Hawaii. It was called the Double Brown Ironman after one of co-sponsor DB’s beer brands. Fast forward to this Sat- urday’s 30th running and the event could symboli- cally be named the Cam- eron Brown Ironman, for the Dannemora man who has won the title a record 10 times and made Taupo the scene of some of New Zealand’s greatest sport- ing moments. Ironman NZ was held in Auckland for its first 14 years, originally based at Mission Bay before mov- ing to St Heliers Beach. The bike course headed south-east of the city, near to where Brown lived as a teen in Pakuranga. “My earliest memory would be going to watch the bike leg in the back of my dad’s truck as a 17- or 18-year-old,” he told the Times. “It used to go along Ti Rakau Drive and up Chapel Road... through Brookby and Clevedon and nearly to Kaiaua. “We’d have Japanese competitors come and bil- let with us, so that was my first experience getting close to Ironman athletes. “We’d go down to St Heliers in the early morn- ing to watch the swim then come back until midnight. “My mates from school and I loved it. We saw some of the greats come down from America like Scott Tinley and Scott Molina. “I have good memories of those times.” Brown finally got to scratch his Ironman NZ itch as an athlete in 1997, in his only hometown appearance. “I didn’t go too well,” he says. “I had a new wetsuit that arched my back too much during the swim. “During the bike ride Ihadtolieonthesideof the road while my wife, or girlfriend at that stage, tried to put my back in place. “It wasn’t a happy start to Ironman NZ. I had a good run and swim but the bike was shocking.” The then 24-year-old placed 23rd in 9 hours 40 minutes, nearly an hour behind winner Lothar Leder. In 1998, Brown was in the midst of transition- ing between standard and long-distance competi- tion and missed Auck- land’s farewell race while attempting to qualify in the triathlon for the 2000 Olympics. His runner-up perform- ance in 1999, the first race at its new Taupo home, would confirm to Brown that Ironman is where his strength resides. “I finished only 13 seconds behind winner Tim DeBoom and could see him in the finishing straight 80m in front of me. It was an awesome day and that was when I thought, ‘yes, I’m keeping to this distance’.” Another second placing in 2000, behind Germany’s Thomas Hellreigel, meant that 2001 was make-or- break for Brown, who was determined not to be a three-time bridesmaid. Brown prevailed in one of the most thrilling races in the event’s history, passing Denmark’s Peter Sandvang with 2km to go on the run. “Winning the first one was a dream come true for me,” he says. “All those years watch- ing it and dreaming about someday competing in and winning it, it was defi- nitely a highlight.” The triumph kicked off a run of 10 titles for Brown, ending in 2011, and a sec- ond place in 2006 when the race was reduced to a half-distance duathlon. “Probably the only other win that matches the first would be winning it for the 10th time,” says Brown. “All the other ones were awesome, but the first and 10th were special.” Brown wore a distinc- tive white bandana during his first hat-trick of victo- ries, but there are no plans to revive the headwear for the 30th anniversary race. “I’ve been tempted to do that, but [apparel sponsor] 2XU doesn’t have one at the moment,” he says. “I won’t be cracking out the speedos or anything like that, so I’ll just be doing my normal thing.” Opponents beware, because normal for Brown means winning.
Howick and Botany Times Wednesday February 19
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