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Brown looks to extend record ironman run

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/03/2017

At 44 years old, world record-breaker Cameron Brown is chasing his 13th New Zealand Ironman victory at Taupo this weekend.

A win will extend his global record for the most wins of the same Ironman event, and as the oldest male to win an Ironman

Brown has enjoyed an excellent build-up for the 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42.2km run event, which has drawn a field he believes is one of the strongest he's seen.

"Marino Vanhoenaker and Marko Albert have both won here and Braden Currie has won the 70.3 race here for two years.

"Terenzo Bozzone went 7:51 in Western Australia and Cyril Viennot is a real threat," Brown said.

"I have had no issues in the lead-up. It has been a testing summer, but the last few weeks have been good and I am happy where I am at."

Vanhoenaker makes a return after winning the weather-shortened race in 2012, with the Belgian rediscovering his best form over the last 18 months.

"I won in Taupo when it got halved due to a big storm, so I do not really count that one as a full Ironman win, so here I am again to give it another shot," he said.

The women's race is equally competitive, with five-time winner Meredith Kessler (USA) returning to a town that has become a second home.

"The key goal for 2017 is having a solid, safe and happy race at Ironman New Zealand. It has always been a focus to start the year off as strong as we can muster and this year is no different," Kessler said.

Second seed is Australian Carrie Lester, who enjoyed a top-10 finish at the Ironman world championship after wins at Chattanooga and Cairns.

Colourful Netherlands triathlete Yvonne van Vlerken is seeded third off the back of seven Ironman victories and nine podiums, including runner-up in Hawaii in 2008.

There will be plenty of support for outstanding Australian Annabel Luxford, the fourth seed, who has been almost unbeatable over the half ironman distance but is still chasing a breakthrough victory over the full distance.

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