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IRONMAN New Zealand 2016 in (fast) numbers
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Monday 7th March 2016


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Multiple champions defend their titles on a record breaking day in Taupo

Brits Joe Skipper and Lucy Gossage take second places to multiple champs Brown and Kessler while Laura Siddall produces another superb result in fourth

For a date in early March, there was a lot of action taking place this past weekend - and with British athletes producing some superb results in international competition too. The long-standing IRONMAN New Zealand in Taupo was no exception. Not only great performances, but superb conditions which resulted in some record breaking times on Saturday.

Cameron Brown has long since been regarded as the King of this race. Having first won his home IRONMAN in 2001, 15 years later he did it once again to collect his 12th title, breaking the course record too. The new Queen of Taupo is Meredith Kessler. Another record breaker, she made it five consecutive wins and become the first female to break the nine hour barrier at the race.

After a disaster at Challenge Wanaka two weeks ago, Joe Skipper bounced back to smash his own PB and take second place (and $7,000), while Lucy Gossage defied a puncture and next to no run training to also take second. Another huge effort from Laura Siddall too. An Age-Group World Champion at Sprint, Standard and 70.3, she produced a career best performance two weeks ago when taking second place at Challenge Wanaka. Just two weeks later she may well have done it again. A 55:38 / 4:53:11 / 3:14:53 race to finish in 9:09:08 is a huge effort. Just two weeks after Taupo...Siddall has most certainly arrived.

The Podium - IRONMAN New Zealand 2016

Pos Men Women
1st Cameron Brown (NZL) 8:07:58 Meredith Kessler (USA) 8:56:08
2nd Joe Skipper (GBR) 8:09:37 Lucy Gossage (GBR) 9:05:08
3rd Callum Millward (NZL) 8:10:57 Carrie Lester (AUS) 9:07:19
4th Matt Hanson (USA) 8:12:30 Laura Siddall (GBR) 9:09:08
5th Matthew Russell (USA) 8:15:25 Amanda Stevens (USA) 9:12:50

Rather than a standard race report (and because I like numbers...), I thought I'd take a look at just some of the many statistics that resulted from this years race in Taupo. Right, I'm off to re-write huge quantities of my iron-stats archive...

Fast Stats from IRONMAN New Zealand 2016

  • Cameron Brown (NZL) extends his own record as the oldest (male) IRONMAN winner (D.O.B. 20th June 1972)
  • Cameron Brown wins his 12th IRONMAN New Zealand title (2001/02/03/04/05/07/08/09/10/11/15/16)
  • That also extends his own record for 'most IRONMAN wins at one event'. Paula Newby-Fraser and Ronnie Schildknecht have eight each at Kona and Switzerland respectively.
  • It's also - as far as I know...? - a record for the most professional wins at any race, not just IRONMAN.
  • Cameron Brown also set a new IRONMAN New Zealand course record of 8:07:57 (previously 8:15:35 by Bevan Docherty in 2013)
  • The top five athletes (Brown, Joe Skipper (GBR), Callum Millward (NZL), Matt Hanson (USA), Matthew Russell (USA)), all finished inside the previous course record too.
  • Joe Skipper (8:09:37) improved his own personal best over the distance, previously 8:16:26 at Ironman Texas 2015
  • Joe Skipper is now the third fastest iron-distance Brit behind Paul Amey and Tom Lowe.
  • Joe Skipper now has three career IRONMAN® second place finishes and two IRONMAN® third place finishes. Can't be too long until he makes the top step of the podium.
  • Dougal Allan (NZL) set a new bike course record of 4:22:13, finishing seventh (previously 4:26:45, Steve Larsen (USA), 2003)
  • Matt Hanson (USA) set a new run course record of 2:41:20, finishing fifth (previously 2:42:01, Clas Bjorling (SWE), 2004)
  • Meredith Kessler (USA) set a new IRONMAN New Zealand course record of 8:56:08 (previously 9:05:45, set by herself last year)
  • Meredith Kessler has now won five consecutive IRONMAN New Zealand titles*
  • Meredith has also gone faster every year.
  • That's the fourth time that Meredith Kessler has gone 'sub-nine' for the iron distance in her career.
  • Lucy Gossage (second, 9:05:08) was also faster than the previous course record
  • That was Lucy's second fastest iron-distance time to date. Her best is 8:58:43 at Challenge Barcelona 2012.
  • Lucy now has four IRONMAN® wins and three IRONMAN® second place finishes. (She also won Challenge Barcelona 2012).
  • Lauren Brandon (USA) set a new swim course record of 46:00, though as she did not finish the race, this will not stand officially.
  • Lucy Gossage set a new bike course record (4:51:39), beating the previous best of 5:01:17 (Emi Shiono, 2008). She also had to fix a puncture!
  • That 5:01:17 bike splut was also beaten by Meredith Kessler, Laura Siddall (GBR), Michelle Bremer (NZL) and Mareen Hufe (GER).
  • Just two weeks after Challenge Wanaka, Laura Siddall finished fourth in huge personal best time for the distance of 9:09:08. That makes Laura the 11th fastest British iron-distance finisher all-time.

* In 2012, the race was held over the Ironman 70.3 distance due to weather delaying the event by one day.


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