Spanish half Ironman world champion Javier Gomez packed first place at the Challenge Wanaka half Ironman event which took place in Central Otago earlier today.
Even though Gomez was left behind in sixth place after a tightly-packed bunch of leaders during the 90km bike route, he quickly came first during the running segment of the event.
“Braden put a lot of pressure on me and I had to run way faster than expected but I was very happy with how my fitness is. I love bike courses like this that are really up and down. We did a good job at the front but in the last 15k some of the guys caught us, which made it really tough,” Gomez said.
“Luckily I managed to pace myself enough at the beginning of the run so I had some energy left for the end, which I really needed. I had to give absolutely everything to win. I really enjoyed it. It was a great course and a great day.”
The women’s race was won by Australian Annabel Luxford, who was able to cross the finish line only two seconds ahead of Briton Laura Siddall.
“I was lucky to have a good swim and felt great on the first half of the bike but was losing quite a bit of time to Laura. When she caught me I knew I had to race tactically. She’s an old hand at this course and I certainly wasn’t going to give her anything. On the run when she started closing on me at the end, I saw her full distance strength coming through but managed to hold her off,” Luxford said.
Javier Gomez (ESP) 3:57:27
Braden Currie (NZL) 3:57:44
Jesse Thomas (USA) 3:59:33
Annabel Luxford (AUS) 4:27:02
2 Laura Siddall (GBR) 4:27:13
Amelia Watkinson (NZL) 4:38:11