adventureXpo athletes

Braden Currie - adventure ambassador

NZ Ironman Champion - 3x World Multi Sport Champion - 3 x NZ Long Distance Triathalon Champion - 3x NZ and Asia Pacific Xterra Champion

BRADEN CURRIE – THE FITTEST MAN IN NEW ZEALAND?

Written by Lisa Potter NZ Fitness Magazine

When Braden Currie says he’s ‘pretty competitive’, you get the feeling he’s also the master of understatement. For that is like saying he is ‘pretty fit’.

If there was ever a competition to find the fittest man in New Zealand, he’d have to be at the top of the field.

His relentless drive has shaped him into a multi-sport endurance champion. Braden wakes up each morning, swims, bikes, runs and goes to the gym. Then rather than feeling satisfied with his efforts (like most of us would), he gets up and does it all over again the next day – and the next.

Braden’s multi-sport career kicked off impressively began, as a three time consecutive champions in the Coast to Coast (World Multi-sport Championships).  Becoming one of New Zealand’s most acclaimed multi-sport athletes was just the beginning of his domination within the world of endurance sport.

His ingrained need of challenge has seen him pursue and achieve within every style of endurance sport.

Within the space of just a few years he has proven himself globally over a variety of racing styles and disciplines. Among these is the New Zealand Long Distance Triathlon Champion (twice), an achievement which gave him the confidence and determination to prove himself in Olympic distance triathlon, where after only six weeks of racing he became the New Zealand Olympic Distance Triathlon Champion.

Alongside his on road triathlon achievements, Braden also maintained his passion and dedication to off-road racing,  placing second in the world at the XTERRA (off-road Triathlon) World Championships, and becoming a multiple New Zealand and Asia Pacific XTERRA Champion.

Every champion has a story of what they feel has contributed to their achievements. For Braden this was growing up on a farm in a small rural community, with hard working parents who taught him that success in life requires relentless commitment through the good times and the bad.

Braden did not fit within the mould of the educational system, and being dyslexic often made him feel isolated and inferior to his class mates. A teacher with a passion for multi-sport who recognised Braden’s struggle with school, started turning up at his gate at 6am every morning and making Braden go running.

In many ways, Braden attributes his success within the world of sport, to the teacher who believed in him.

To this day he  reflects on the impact of having someone recognise his struggle and provide the pathway for building back his confidence in life and the self-belief that everything in life is possible when you apply commitment, dedication and heart.

Braden has gone on to become one of the most respected names in the world of multi-sport and adventure racing. He is a World Champion, a Red Bull athlete, a NZ and Asia Pacific XTERRA Champion and the NZ Olympic distance, Long Distance and Ultra Distance Triathlon Champion.

He is also a husband and a father – also hugely important roles to him, and by necessity because of the time and energy he puts into his sport to stay at the top of his game, his family have also become immersed in this world. Wife Sally Currie helps manage much of the media and marketing that goes alongside being an athlete of this calibre.

YOU GET OUT WHAT YOU PUT IN

There’s a reason so few people reach the ultimate levels of their sport on a world stage. It is relentless hard grind. The demand of competing at the highest level requires every drop of stamina and strength a person is capable of, often on a daily basis.

There’s the physical challenge of pushing your body to its limits – and beyond. Then endless hours of training, of time committed to your sport (often while also juggling family life), the mental strength required to never quit and to battle through the tough times – repeatedly.

Braden is that rare breed of athlete who continues pushing through barriers. His drive sees him continually push his body and mind to its absolute limits – and then set himself fresh challenges.

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE

In spite of growing up in a small rural community and not having any exposure to any form of multi-sport or triathlon racing during his adolescent years, Braden was still able to apply himself to become one of New Zealand and the World’s best endurance athletes. He was often described as the farm boy who came out of nowhere. Braden had one attempt at the two day coast to coast in 2007, placing third, after having never paddled a multi-sport boat or ridden a road bike.

From 2007 to 2011 Braden alongside his wife Sally, put all their energy into building a business in Australia. After selling the business, Braden found the space to give the Coast to Coast another crack. He came third in 2012 in the one day, which only motivated him to go back again and win it three times in a row.

Rather than a life of practise dedicated to a sport, it was instead his aggressive racing attitude, relentless commitment and full level of support from his family, that enabled him to develop a career within multi-sport and adventure racing.

DRIVEN TO EXCEL

Braden knew he could do more and found himself face to face with a career opportunity. One he had immense passion and natural talent for, but also one which was financially high risk, highly competitive and perceivably impossible to make a life from; life as a full time athlete.

His competitive spirit has taken him, and his family (including children Tarn and Bella), around the world, blitzing strong fields and racking up win after win.

From triathlons and ironman to on-road and off-road events, he’s a human four wheel drive machine that just never quits.

This year he has one main goal. To win the most renowned endurance event in the world – The Ironman World Championships. Ironman is a new sport for Braden. After winning his first attempt at Ironman this March, he decided that the most fitting goal for him moving forward was to aspire towards the biggest goal in endurance sport.

Watch this space

Follow Braden’s journey at
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/multisportbradencurrie
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BradenCurrie

Daniel Kereopa - Water ambassador

Daniel Kereopa (DK) is New Zealand's most accredited multi disciplined surfing athlete and an international Ultimate Waterman. In 2015, Kereopa defeated Kai Lenny and a host of the world’s most accomplished ocean athletes to be crowned the first ever Ultimate Waterman. The athletes competed in a grueling marathon of events ranging from distance standup paddling to long boarding to shortboarding. It was a test of will in New Zealand’s myriad ocean conditions. Something he was well equipped to tackle.

DK is a Raglan, NZ  local and has spent many years as a professional surfing athlete.

In 2015, DK and his partner Renee, began DK Surf School with the heart and goal to lift New Zealander's ocean skills, confidence and courage in New Zealand water.

DK Surf School specialises in on-going tuition because it provides a stable platform for kiwis to progress their abilities and knowledge with quality guidance. DK Surf School is unique because it teaches within the DK ocean culture and Maori culture and aims to make surfing accessible to kiwi whanau as a tool to enhance water safety knowledge and grow the next generations of Kiwi surfing athletes and recreational surfers.

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adventureXpo is going to be great for adventure sports to gain mainstream exposure and engagement. Craig and the team have some really innovative ideas and I am looking forward to being an event ambassador
— Daniel Kereopa

Sarah Hay - Mountain ambassador

  Image Lee Howell

Image Lee Howell

Sarah Hay is one of New Zealand’s most accomplished rock climbers.Queenstown is a favourite mountain location for the Climbing New Zealand Lead and Boulder series champion and overall NIBS champion. The spectacular mountains and iconic climbing locations draw Sarah back every year for summer climbing around Queenstown, Wanaka and the Fiordlands. Sarah has also climbed extensively in the North Island and is based in Auckland.
Sarah is Vice President for Climbing New Zealand and is looking forward to contributing to the Oceania Climbing Committee’s involvement in the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games where sport climbing, bouldering and speed climbing will feature for the first time. Sarah thanks her sponsors Rab Equipment, Friction Labs, Outfitters Newmarket and Lowe Alpine for their contribution to her success.

Sarah is Auckland born and has been climbing for 14 years both outdoors around New Zealand’s climbing crags and in climbing competitions nationally and internationally. She coaches Auckland based youth competition climbers and contributes to route setting at her local gym. Sarah sees her involvement within the climbing community as a long-term commitment. She is passionate about the development of climbing and climbers with NZ, and the growth and infrastructure of CNZ as a national body.

  Image Chris Mclennon

Image Chris Mclennon

It is very exciting to be a part of Auckland’s first adventureXpo, in a county like ours with so many exciting outdoor sports and active kiwi’s, the expo will be an excellent showcase of the huge range of activities we can get involved with. We are especially excited that bouldering will feature at the expo. Bouldering is akin to roped climbing, only the climbing walls are limited in height and climbers fall or jump onto mats for safety. Bouldering is a hugely social and fun sport that anyone can get involved with, of any age and ability. It is now an Olympic sport and will feature alongside lead and speed climbing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. We look forward to seeing you at the event, come down and give it a go!
— Sarah Hay

Wheels ambassador - Conor Macfarlane

Born in Scotland and raised in New Zealand, Conor Macfarlane started riding at the dirt jumps and downhilling before getting into cross country racing. After competing at the World Championships in Scotland, 2007, he stopped XC racing due to the amount of time consumed by training to concentrate on the extreme side of mountain biking. He still races the odd DH race, has competed in a few EWS events, not to mention the various slope and dirt jump contests under his belt, but Conor mostly likes to take the downhill bike to the big jumps, even competing in the last three Red Bull Rampages. Spending 7 months of the year in NZ working for Elevate Construction, Conor then chases summer unto the northern hemisphere.

Who is Conor Macfarlane?
A guy who likes to ride bikes, hates doing nothing and loves being outside.

Where are you from and where do you live?
I was born on the Isle of Lewis, which is in the Outer Hebrides off the coast of Scotland. I spent most of my childhood in Invercargill, which is at the bottom of the South Island of New Zealand and now I live in Queenstown.

Where are you happiest?
Somewhere outdoors, quite often on a bike of some kind. 

What’s been your favourite race/event venue?
Farm Jam for sure! The relaxed vibe of a jam format can’t be beaten, the Frew boys are legends, awesome setting and group of riders, sweet jumps and nothing but good times!

Where are your favourite trails?
Gorge Road and the Frew Farm for jumps and Coronet Peak after some rain for the trail or DH bike.

What are your strengths?
Jumping my DH bike, I guess!

What’s been your worst crash over the years?
Probably back when I was 16 or 17, I was pedalling into a wooden take-off when the chain snapped, throwing me over the bars into the ramp. My forearm hit the ramp, but my elbow was just off to the side and continued going forward, resulting in a broken and dislocated elbow.

And what’s been your luckiest escape?
When I was 9 or 10 we were going on a family holiday and a car coming towards us drifted into the gravel on their side of the road and then came shooting over our lane about 5-10m in front of us into the verge, always remember being pretty lucky to get away with that one.


Which bike from over the years, conjures up the best memories?
The first bike I bought, a Specialized Hardrock. I had it for years and did everything on it. I learnt all the basics of biking on it, raced XC and DH and learnt how to jump and do tricks

Who or what inspires you?
People who build and send big gaps and people like my brother who don’t let anything stop them doing what they want to do with their life. 

 What do you enjoy doing away from bikes?
Digging, although that is closely related to bikes. I enjoy getting out in the backcountry and away from everything, and I used to love surfing and skiing, although chasing summers and living inland don’t let me do them as often as I would like! 
 

 

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