Cameron Brown accepts IRONMAN Melbourne challenge

Cameron Brown finishing off an amazing performance at Ironman Melbourne 2012

At 40 years on, there’s not much new in the sport for the 10-time IRONMAN New Zealand champion Cameron Brown.

But he is about to embark on something completely different when he competes in the Urban Hotel Group IRONMAN Melbourne on Sunday, just three weeks since finishing third at IRONMAN New Zealand in Taupo.

“It’s the first time I have ever attempted racing a second IRONMAN after only three weeks break,” Brown said. “I have no idea how my body will feel until race day. It is going to be interesting.”

Cameron Brown finishing off an amazing performance at Ironman Melbourne 2012

Cameron Brown finishing off an amazing performance at Ironman Melbourne 2012

Brown said he was able to recover well from IRONMAN New Zealand where he lost for the first time in Taupo over the full IRONMAN distance, won on debut by fellow Kiwi and two-time Olympic medallist, Bevan Docherty.

“It was a disappointing day for me, not because I did not win, but because I felt ordinary all day.

“Hat’s off to Bevan who was the best out there on the day but it’s the first time that I have not been able to fire in Taupo.”

Brown enjoyed an outstanding second placing at the inaugural IRONMAN Melbourne last year, which doubles as the Asia Pacific championship, one of four major regional races leading to the IRONMAN World Championships.

He led for most of the day, run down in the final 3km by two-time IRONMAN World Champion Craig Alexander. Of course Brown’s performance last year was off the back of an IRONMAN New Zealand race that was weather-shortened to an IRONMAN 70.3 half distance race.

He is one of 66 New Zealanders taking part on Sunday, with a number Australian-based and also several doubling up from Taupo.

In the elite men’s field Alexander is back as top seed ahead of Brown with 2012 IRONMAN New Zealand winner Marino Vanhoeneker (BEL) ranked third.

Taupo runner-up Gina Crawford is seeded third in the women’s race behind defending champion Caroline Steffen (SUI) and IRONMAN New Zealand winner Meredith Kessler (USA).

Nelson-based German Britta Martin is ranked fourth after her breakthrough win in IRONMAN Western Australia in December, while the elite field also includes Kiwis Anna Cleaver, based in Australia, Auckland’s Anna Ross and Dunedin’s Tamsyn Hayes.

The second IRONMAN Melbourne starts at 7.30am local time on Sunday with the 3.8km swim at Frankston on the Mornington Peninsula, a 180km cycle mostly on the eastern expressway and 42.2 km marathon run from Frankston to St Kilda.

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