Endurance athletes supreme Braden Currie and Dougal Allan have both quickly put the disappointment of their withdrawals at Kellogg’s IRONMAN New Zealand last weekend and reset their sights on victory in the XTERRA Triathlon at Macpac Motatapu this weekend.
There is incredible symmetry this week, they are great mates, both sadly failed to finish in Taupo (Currie due to illness and Allan due to a mechanical on the bike), both are returning to their roots, with both forging their early careers on multi-sport and adventure racing events in New Zealand and abroad.
Wanaka’s Currie has won the XTERRA event three times, from 2012 to 2014, and loves the chance to wake up at home with the family and ‘pop down the road’ to the event.
“I really enjoy that environment and get to roll out the door and drive ten minutes to the start line so that will be good. I raced there last about three years ago in the XTERRA event, I know the course has changed a little, so I am looking forward to testing it out. XTERRA Worlds is always on my programme, it would be great to qualify and lock up that spot and then get on with the rest of my year.”
Currie lives in this same part of the world for a reason and loves where the event takes competitors.
“Getting into the middle of that valley is always amazing, some of the country in there and the way those valleys open up, going through those river crossings towards the end, it is definitely an environment that l love being in and can’t wait to get back out there.”
Allan won the event in 2015 and 2017, but of late says he has too often been on the wrong end of the results against his good mate, something he would love to change on Saturday.
There is some rivalry, I love to race Braden, in recent years I haven’t had too many wins against him, but any opportunity I get I thrive on. Dougal Allan
“There is some rivalry, I love to race Braden, in recent years I haven’t had too many wins against him, but any opportunity I get I thrive on. While we are good mates before and after the race, it is not the case after the start line, we are out to get each other. It is a cool rivalry, I appreciate that he pushes me further than I might otherwise push myself, the chances against an athlete of his calibre are few and far between, and I thrive on them.”
Despite being good friends and sometimes training partners, they are not shy of a little trash talk.
“We haven’t spoken since Taupo but pre-Taupo we wished upon each other to have a hard marathon run to destroy our legs before XTERRA but as it turned out neither of us had that, so we are hopefully going to be relatively fresh for the weekend. It is hard to beat Braden in any triathlon, but in one that is relatively speaking weighted towards the mountain bike, I can give him a good push and make him work for it.”
Allan leaves you with no uncertainty about his preference for racing off-road and can’t wait for the gun on Saturday morning as he too races in his own backyard.
“This is where my passion lies first and foremost, in the rough and rugged outdoor setting. I have raced it and won two years, both times in a pretty fatigued state from other races, so it will be nice to attack the race fresh. It is probably more my niche, my environment with river crossings and hopefully weather plays a part on race day, it will be a big test I think.”
Curries loves the atmosphere around the event, with so many people from all walks of life converging on the finish line at Arrowtown.
“Arrowtown is a great location for it all to finish, it is a great atmosphere that finish line, with so many people coming in and cheering so many great experiences,” said Currie.
This is where my passion lies first and foremost, in the rough and rugged outdoor setting. Braden Currie
Allan also loves that aspect of the event as people of all backgrounds share the excitement of completing their events.
“The finish at the village green at Arrowtown is amazing, you can end up with close to 4,000 athletes and their supporters all there celebrating their different events. There are so many ways to get to that finish line, the ultra-runners, triathletes, mountain bikers, hikers, runners, it makes for a special afternoon with loads of different stories and celebrate success, it is a unique finish line for that reason.”
Entries remain open for all events at Macpac Motatapu this weekend, for further information visit the website www.motatapu.com
The XTERRA Triathlon is one of six events on offer at the 14th edition of the iconic Macpac Motatapu. Overall entries are now well over 4,000 with 25 countries represented as the popularity of the largest one-day multi-sport events in New Zealand continues to grow.
March 10, 2018
Wanaka to Queenstown
• SKODA Mountain Bike – 47km – solo and teams
• Miners Trail – 15km
• Sawpit Trail – 8km
• Off Road Marathon – 42.2km
• XTERRA Triathlon – 2km swim, 47km mountain bike, 8.5km run
• Ultra-Run – 51km – solo and teams