The last Ironman races of 2015 were held over the weekend, as both Ironman 70.3 Taupo in New Zealand and Ironman 70.3 Ballarat in Australia saw some impressive low-season performances.
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American Meredith Kessler used her swim ability to take an early lead, one she would maintain until the finish despite the best efforts of Sam Warriner (NZL), in what is reported to be her final professional race. Warriner, two minutes back in the water closed around half of that on two wheels but would then pay for that on the run, fading to fourth. The fastest ride of the day belonged to Brit Laura Siddall, who finished in 4:19:32 just a minute behind second-placed Amelia Watkinson of New Zealand and a further minute behind Kessler.
Kessler and Siddall were the only athletes to break up the predictable Kiwi dominance on the podium, with all three men’s top spots being taken by New Zealanders. Men’s winner Braden Currie is best known for winning the Coast-to-Coast race in New Zealand, and is often cited as ‘the fittest man in New Zealand’. As well as his adventure-racing prowess, Currie further proved his triathlon credentials with an impressive win against a quality field, finishing almost a minute clear of Callum Millward in 3:51:48.