Teresa Adam is no stranger to winning Ironman titles but to do it at home in front of friends and family for the first time is a feeling like no other.
It was third time lucky for Adam, who has finished runner-up twice in Taupō previously.
Not only did the 30-year-old Kiwi post her maiden victory at Nutri-Grain Ironman New Zealand in Taupō on Saturday, she did it in record-breaking time, obliterating the course record of Jocelyn McCauley (2019) by nearly 13 minutes on the back of a stunning 4:36:11 bike leg that took over 15 minutes off the record of Lucy Gossage (GBR) from 2016.
"There was a little bit of doubt how I would go on the run coming off a ride like that, but I am obviously getting stronger as an athlete and just made sure I stuck to the pace that we had set and kept tapping along," Adam says.
"That was awesome, I didn't know I was on for the record until the end of the race, but I am just stoked. I had a good ride, came through halfway in 2:15 and thought whoops! But I just focused on drinking and hydrating and kept eating and drinking," she says.
Adam's intent was clear early on, leading out of the water the former Water Polo star put 1:40 on McCauley, American Meredith Kessler and Rach McBride (USA), with Judith Corachan Vaquera and Kelsey Withrow next on to the bike.
But once she climbed on her bike, the rest were fighting for second and third.
Adam's first home title adds to her back-to-back Asia Pacific Ironman titles.
"This is so cool, I really wanted to win here, my home race and show what I can do. I have won three times in Australia now and you do have Kiwis over there supporting and Dan travels over, but I wanted to showcase that for my family, my coach and team Pewag and all my supporters here in New Zealand."
Five-time champion Meredith Kessler (USA) finished second, after holding that spot for much of the race with McCauley withdrawing after the bike leg due to illness and 70.3-star Radka Kahlefeldt (CZE) succumbing to illness after the swim.
"I have to give her (Adam) props, that was such a performance, she is a contender to win Kona, that was incredible. Even if I swam with her which I should, I had the bike of my life, but she was 12 minutes ahead, that was amazing, well done to her," Kessler said.
Third was Judith Corachan Vaquera (ESP).
Great Britain's Joe Skipper smashed the men's race, also earning his maiden victory in Taupō in record time - and with two runner-up placings under his belt.
"I said before the race I have come here twice and each time it has taken a course record to beat me, and I knew this time wouldn't be any different as I had such a terrible run last time. I knew I could run 2:45 off the bike today, thought whoever won today would post a course record, I am pleased I lived up to that."
Skipper fought back tears as he took the win at the finish line and had thoughts for his Nan, who passed away at home while he has been in New Zealand.
Second home was defending champion Mike Phillips, a result that exceeded expectations given his limited preparation after overcoming a herniated disc in his back.
"I guess I did everything I could to put myself in a position to finish as high as I could and have a chance to defend the title. It took a big effort from one of the other guys to beat me, I still went 8:01 but for someone to go 7:54 on that course, that is world class, so I am really happy today."
Third for the second consecutive year was Braden Currie, who was disappointed with his result but acknowledged the superb racing from Skipper and Phillips.
"I don't like coming third, it hurts, I am pretty pissed about it, I feel like I put a lot of work in and didn't have a good day, nothing felt great."
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Nutri-Grain Ironman New Zealand results:
1 Joe Skipper, GBR, 7:54:17 (race record).
2 Mike Phillips, NZL, 8:01:27.
3 Braden Currie, NZL, 8:04:36.
4 Philipp Koutny, SUI, 8:07:03.
5 Dougal Allan, NZL, 8:13:15.
6 Cameron Brown, NZL, 8:14:35.
7 Mark Bowstead, NZL, 8:16:12.
8 Ben Phillips, NZL, 8:22:07.
9 Mathias Petersen, DEN, 8:27:46.
10 Olly Shaw, NZL, 8:29:50.
1 Teresa Adam, NZL, 8:40:29 (race record).
2 Meredith Kessler, USA, 8:56:03.
3 Judith Corachan Vaquera, ESP, 9:03:21.
3 Rach McBride, USA, 9:10:06.
5 Julia Grant, NZL, 9:35:24.
6 Lisa Roberts, USA, 9:36:02.
7 Federica De Nicola, ITA, 9:42:33.
8 Vanessa Murray, AUS, 9:43:40.
9 Alyssa Godesky, USA, 9:53:33.
10 Nikki Mathews, NZL, 9:54:08.