Not only did Terenzo Bozzone claim sweet victory at Ironman New Zealand today, but he also went under eight hours over the full distance for the second time in his career and set a new course record.

With a final time of 7 hours, 59 minutes and 57 seconds, the Kiwi broke the previous course record by eight minutes and finally broke the “bridesmaid’s curse” on his tenth attempt at the title. He had previously finished second four times and third once.

Terenzo BozzoneTerenzo Bozzone
Photo: Henry Productions; click to enlarge

Despite coming straight into the Ironman without a lead-in race from the off season, Bozzone showed no signs of rust throughout. He had the fifth-fastest swim over 3.8 kilometres, which landed him in the first chase group at the start of the 180 kilometre bike ride. Some fast riding put him in the lead halfway through, with only Joe Skipper able to hang with him through the back end of the bike. The two athletes started the marathon together, but Bozzone cranked up the pace and was six minutes ahead by the 33rd kilometre. This lead was more than enough for the five-time world champion to cruise through to the win, with Skipper clawing back only 30 seconds to come in second. Cameron Brown, the previous course record holder and 12-time champion at this race, took third.

Bozzone said of Brown, “This legend has inspired and pushed me to be a better athlete at this race for the past 10 years. I can’t believe I am now on the top of the podium.”

The day was ideal for fast racing, with all three podium finishers coming under the previous course record.