It was a record-breaking day for both New Zealand’s Cameron Brown and the United States’ Meredith Kessler. For Brown, he extended his record as the oldest man to win an Ironman (43), became the first professional man to win the same Ironman 12 times and broke the course record. Kessler also had a stellar race, earning her fifth-straight victory in Taupo and again breaking her own course record.
Brown was 10th out of the water (48:37 split), second off of the bike (5:21:31) and first at the finish line after a 2:44:54 marathon. Brown, the undisputed king of this race, now also holds the course record thanks to his 8:07:58 finish time—the record was previously held by now-retired Bevan Docherty of New Zealand. Great Britain’s Joe Skipper had a solid all-around race to finish in second at 8:09:36. It was a close race to the podium, with New Zealand’s Callum Millward rounding out the top three at 8:10:56.
“That was the toughest,” Brown told Ironman.com. “And aside from that first win here, this would have to go down as the best. I’m a couple of months shy of my 44th birthday so to win this for a 12th time, and set a new course record is incredibly special.”
Kessler was again impressive all day in Taupo. She kicked off her day as the second woman out of the water (47:49 split), then was first off of the bike (4:56:40 split) and—despite some confusion that led to some lost time at the end of the bike—sailed through the marathon (3:06:03) to take the victory with some time to spare. Her 8:56:08 finish time shattered her previous course record of 9:05:45, which was set in 2015. Great Britain’s Lucy Gossage was second at 9:05:07, with Australia’s Carrie Lester claiming the final podium spot at 9:07:18.
“Today was by far my most enriching day in New Zealand which says a lot about a country and a town that means so much to me and my husband,” Kessler told Ironman.com of her victory. “No day is perfect. But overall you have to be consistent over all three disciplines which I did today and really it was a very pleasing performance.”
2016 Ironman New Zealand
Taupo, New Zealand – March 5, 2016
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run
1. Cameron Brown (NZL) 8:07:57
2. Joe Skipper (GBR) 8:09:36
3. Callum Millward (NZL) 8:10:56
4. Matt Hanson (USA) 8:12:29
5. Matthew Russell (USA) 8:15:24
1. Meredith Kessler (USA) 8:56:07
2. Lucy Gossage (GBR) 9:05:07
3. Carrie Lester (ASU) 9:07:18
4. Laura Siddall (USA) 9:09:07
5. Amanda Stevens (USA) 9:12:49