The three leaders on to the run - Photo Credit: Delly Carr / Ironman.com
Turning 42 in two weeks, New Zealand’s Cameron Brown became the oldest man to win an IRONMAN event, at today’s Cairns Airport IRONMAN Cairns.
Brown, a winner of 11 IRONMAN races in a stellar career, was delighted.
â€œBecoming the oldest ever winner was motivation for me out there but I’m sure Craig Alexander or Chris McCormack will try and knock me off now. Forty is the new 30,â€ Brown said.
The men’s race came down to a test of age and wisdom over youth, with Brown using his experience in the trying wet conditions to outlast Australians Tim van Berkel and Peter Robertson.
â€œTim is a great runner so I just had to keep pushing. The crowd support is always fantastic here, it’s what gets you to the finish line,â€ Brown said.
While Van Berkel was disappointed not to win, there was no shame in coming second to Brown.
â€œI really wanted to win, so I am disappointed, the bloody old bastard got me again,â€ Van Berkel said. â€œSecond two years in a row here is tough, but all credit to Brownie, he has 11 years on me.â€
The race began in the rain that didn’t let up all day. After negotiating tricky conditions in the swim it was three time ITU World Champion Robertson who exited the water with Casey Munro after the pair had built a lead of over two minutes.
The two Australians held their advantage on the bike until Munro suffered a puncture just before the 54 km mark. By that stage the fast moving Brown and young Australian Matt Burton had bridged up to van Berkel’s group, and were only 2:33 behind Robertson.
Robertson was joined at the 105 km mark by van Berkel, Brown, Courtney Ogden, Matt Burton and Finland’s Jarmo Hast.
Robertson, Brown and Van Berkel quickly opened up a gap on the run with Robertson dropping back after 12 km. By the halfway mark it was the more experienced Brown who started to pull away, going on to win in 8:20.15, just over three minutes clear of a gallant Van Berkel.
Robertson, who had drifted back to fourth, managed a final burst to edge out Burton for the final spot on the podium.
Brown’s last Ironman win was in New Zealand in 2011. “I had a shocking swim today but managed to bridge up to Tim and Peter and come in to T2 with them. They took off like it was a 10km run . It took me 7kms to reel them in”. Brown then ran shoulder to shoulder with Tim until the 21km mark when he managed to put a gap between himself and Tim. “A big thanks to Tim and Peter for pushing me to become the oldest winner of an Ironman”.