The IRONMAN World Championship is the most iconic single-day endurance event in the world and the 2021 edition has been almost three years in the making after a COVID-enforced hiatus.
In the early hours of Sunday St. George will become the first location to host the event outside of Kona, Hawai’i since its origins in 1978.
Wanaka’s Currie has raced three times before at the IRONMAN World Championship and finished fifth on his second attempt in 2018. He also finished seventh in 2019.
“I think I’ve had really good results in Kona looking back at the World Champs, so I think the thing about racing at this level is that it’s a very fine line and that I tend to have the ability to just keep on pushing. It’s a really tough course and I am fit and healthy and excited to race, so I think I’ve got a really good chance of doing better this year,” said Currie.
“Kona is an incredibly tough race on its own, very similar elements to here, a lot of wind, a few hills and a bit of heat. I think this course will definitely throw a few more hills at people, definitely a little bit more climbing over the 180km bike and I think the run is probably going to affect people as much, if not more than Kona where that bike ride and the run in itself is relatively undulating, so it’ll definitely catch people up later in the day and won’t make for an easy day of racing.”
Over the past couple of years racing in New Zealand has been sparse and with Aotearoa’s borders closed for most of that time, domestic field sizes have also been smaller than usual.
The 2021 Nutri-Grain IRONMAN New Zealand champion says he’s excited to be back racing against the best in the world.
“I think for me in my stage of career it’s all that I want to race really, to be competing against the world’s best. It’s exciting to be back here on the world stage and have a good platform to race on and have a really strong field to race against,” he said.
“We have been lucky to have a good handful of races in New Zealand over the summers and it’s been broken up in a way where I never knew the big events weren’t going to happen until they typically cancelled around a month out, so in my mind, these races were always happening and I continued to train and plan as if they were which has helped in keeping my mind off the fact that I haven’t really raced a huge event on the world stage for two and half years,” said Currie.
This year is set to be a year like no other for IRONMAN, with the rescheduled 2021 IRONMAN World Championship to be held tomorrow (NZT) in Utah, ahead of the 2022 Supersapians IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, Hawai’i this October.
Although Currie hasn’t yet qualified for the 2022 IRONMAN World Championship, he is hoping to book his ticket to Kona this weekend with eight slots available in St. George to the pros not already qualified.
“I’m definitely looking forward to it. There has been more space to get organised and effectively manage the lead into this race. I feel as though we have left no stone unturned which is comforting and it’s always great to line up with the best in the world because it’s guaranteed to be the ultimate test of my own personal ability,” said Currie.