Cameron Brown has gained one of his best results away from home in his illustrious career, finishing runner-up to world champion Craig Alexander in the Asia Pacific Ironman Championships in Melbourne today.
Brown finished third in Ironman New Zealand earlier this month, shortened to a Ironman 70.3 event (half distance) because of the weather bomb that hit Taupo.
That race now proved an excellent shakedown for the 39-year-old who pushed the world champion to the limit today before Alexander edged away in the final 8kms on the marathon run after the pair ran shoulder to shoulder.
Alexander won in a stunning 7:57.44 with Brown second in 8:00.04, his fastest ever Ironman performance, on the back of a 2hr 41min marathon.
His points from third place in New Zealand and second in the high rating Ironman Melbourne should ensure qualification for the Ironman World Championships later in the year.
Brown was in the second group out of the 3.8km swim near Frankston and worked his way through the field as he and Alexander recorded the fastest bike splits of the day.
They pushed on to the run with Belgium's Fred van Lierde and Spain's Eneko Llanos in the field of near-world championship quality. However Brown and Alexander worked their way clear at the 10km mark and ran side-by-side for 20kms until the Australian made his move.
Meanwhile it was a doubly good day for kiwis with seven time ironman New Zealand champion Jo Lawn finishing a solid fourth in the women's race.
She was two minutes down out of the water before forcing her way through the field on the run, coming from 20 minutes down on Switzerland's Caroline Steffen. The 2011 world champion Mirinda Carfrae passed Lawn late on the marathon to push her off the podium, finishing fourth in
Steffen, who won three Ironman titles last year including ironman Europe, took out the title in 8:34.51 from Great Britain's Rachel Joyce.
Men: Craig Alexander (Australia) 7:57.44, 1; Cameron Brown (New Zealand) 8:00.12, 2; Fred van Lierde (Belgium) 8:01.26, 3; Eneko Llanos (Spain) 8:02.23, 4; David Dellow (Australia) 8:04.19, 5.
Women: Caroline Steffen (Switzerland) 8:34.51, 1; Rachel Joyce (Great Britain) 8:46.09, 2; Mirinda Carfrae (Australia) 9:04.00, 3; Jo Lawn (New Zealand) 9:06.53, 4.
- © Fairfax NZ News