With a history dating back to 1990, the Tauranga Half at Mount Manganui, New Zealand is one of the longest standing events on the Kiwi triathlon calendar. With a prize purse of $15,500 (NZD) shared between the top five men and women, it invariably draws a quality field too.
Currie makes it three
2021 IRONMAN New Zealand champion, Braden Currie, finished the year ranked #18 in the PTO Rankings, and is no stranger to this race. Second last year to Kyle Smith – when Smith’s winning margin was just 10 seconds – Currie was back on top of the podium today, adding to previous wins in 2016 and 2017.
Setting the pace in the swim, Currie was joined on the bike by Mike Phillips (who finished second to Currie in Taupo last year), before quickly taking the lead out of T2 and talking a comfortable victory, finishing with a 1:13:16 run split. A great start to his year.
The fastest run split of the day – 1:11:37 – allowed Jack Moody to take the silver. He has now finished 2nd / 2nd / 3rd / 2nd over the last four editions, with XTERRA specialist, Sam Osborne, rounding out the podium trio.
Rebecca Clarke, finally, on top in Tauranga
Like the men’s winner, Rebecca Clarke is no stranger to this race. Unlike Currie however – until today at least – she hadn’t managed to top the podium. She had previously finished 6th / 5th / 3rd / 2nd / 3rd over the previous five editions. She now has her name on race roll of honour.
Hot on the heels of Simone Ackermann out of the water, Clarke then took control on the bike and completed the 90km ride eight minutes quicker than the South African, who finished 17th at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Ackermann was making her middle distance debut.
While Simone clawed back almost three minutes on the run, Clarke was not threatened and finished a full five minutes clear to finally take the Tauranga title.
Tauranga Half results, New Zealand – Saturday 22nd January 2022
1.9km / 90km / 21.1km
- 1. Braden Currie (NZL) 3:40:13
- 2. Jack Moody (NZL) 3:43:42
- 3. Sam Osborne (NZL) 3:47:02
- 4. Matt Kerr (NZL) 3:48:55
- 5. Lucas Duross (NZL) 3:55:38
- Rebecca Clarke (NZL) 4:15:53
- Simone Ackerman (RSA) 4:20:54
- Deb Fuller (NZL) 4:24:25
- Emily McNaughton (NZL) 4:34:26
- Nikkola Matthews (NZL) 4:35:02