Kiwi Braden Currie posted a 2:46:25 marathon to finish seventh at the Ironman world championship in Hawaii yesterday, his second consecutive top 10 finish in only his third start at the home of Ironman racing.
The race was won by German Jan Frodeno, in a race record time of 7:51:13. The big German made his move in the second half of the bike course and rode away from the field, with his 2:42:43 marathon the icing on the cake.
Tim O'Donnell (US) was second and Sebastian Kienle made it two Germans on the podium with his third place.
Currie was right in the mix out of the water, a superb swim had him right in the lead group and where he wanted to be on the bike, but he just did not have the legs to stay with the pace being set first by Alistair Brownlee (Great Britain) and then Frodeno.
But the Wanaka athlete found some strength on the run, passing more than a dozen athletes on his way to seventh place.
"I am not sure what happened on the bike," Currie said.
"I had a fantastic swim and was super comfortable and where I wanted to be but just couldn't hang in there. Jan kept pushing so hard to keep away and kept doing that all day, the bikers came through and I couldn't hang in there either and ended up in no-man's land.
"I progressively lost time but to be honest I am super proud, I dug really deep on that run, I could quite easily have given up, it wasn't where I wanted to be on the bike and in the end I end up seventh, that is alright, it is pretty good.
"I really struggled that first five minutes, but I just had to dig deep and once I found some rhythm and started getting away from some people I came right. To be honest last year was great, but I had to go deep for that one and had to do it by myself which is quite cool."