NZ Blackcurrants helped catapult two triathletes to huge podium finishes at the IronMan World Championships in Hawaii on Saturday, with Brits Lucy Charles and Jane Hansom taking silver medals in long-distance triathlon’s most coveted event.
Former British international swimmer Lucy Charles has used CurraNZ without exception since starting out in the sport in 2015 and says it has made a "massive difference" to her training and recovery over the years. Having double-dosed in the week leading to Kona, she had the race of her life to take second place on her Pro Kona debut. It was an incredible follow-up attempt at elite level after winning there as an age-grouper in 2015.
First out of the water after the 2.4km swim, Charles was just five seconds off the 48:43 course record set by Jodi Jackson in 1999.
The 24-year-old only conceded the lead in the race 140km into 180km of the bike leg when the eventual winner, Daniela Ryf, passed the young Brit with a mere lead of 40 seconds going into the final marathon stage.
The ‘Queen of Long Distance Triathlon’, Daniela was repeating her success in this event, also completing a 70.3 and IronMan World Championship double for the second time in three seasons.
Lucy powered on to clock her fastest IronMan marathon running section to date, in a finishing the race in 8:59.38 which saw her become just one of a select group to post a sub-nine in Hawaii.
In taking runner-up spot, Lucy exacted revenge on Australasian IronMan Champion Sarah Crowley, who beat her to the gold medal in the European medal in July.
Fellow ambassador Jane Hansom was back to defend her title in the 45-49 division this year, and made the podium again with second – extraordinarily, her third consecutive top-two finish in as many attempts at Kona.
Like Lucy, Jane has been a long-time user of CurraNZ and headed to Kona this time off the back of her best-ever season, with five age-group wins.
Fellow Sponge Teammate Paul Lunn also had a fantastic race, finishing fifth in his 45-49 division with a time of 9:25:02.
For the second year, our fourth ambassador to line up, Reece Barclay had more bad luck in the race. Having made a great start to the swim, Reece hit a rock only 40km into the bike leg that caused a flat tyre. After a fast change, Reece then realized five minutes later that his tyre was still hissing and the damage was more severe than originally thought, which put paid to his chances. Despite that, he still recorded a top-20 finish in 19th, but he says he is “bitterly disappointed”.