You all know Cam Brown – he’s that guy who always wins IMNZ. At 43 (almost 44), he’s the oldest dude to ever win an Ironman® event. He’s a family man, has two 2nd place and two 3rd place finishes at Kona, and for a long time, wore that signature bandana. As a headband aficionado, I can’t help but respect Cam’s commitment to such avant-garde headgear – even if it is, sadly, ancient history.
Interview with Cam Brown, 12-time IMNZ Champion
First off, congrats on your TWELFTH victory at IMNZ – and just a few weeks shy of your 44th birthday. Leading into this race, did you really think that you would win yet again, in a field packed with up-and-comers like Cal and Joe? Did you have any indication that you would set a course record? On a course with notoriously tough conditions, how important were the wind and weather to the fast times we saw?
I had a great build up over the kiwi summer, the last 8 weeks here have been fantastic with perfect temperatures around 27-28c everyday so it made training easier. The weather is so important to get right in this race. The road surface is also a chip surface so it’s a lot slower than US roads so you add any wind and it will make things slow. The swim was flat and calm, there was no wind on the bike and run and the max temp was about 25-26c so a great racing conditions. After the bike I thought we would be close to record setting pace but I didn’t realize I would break it by that much, I rode 8 mins quicker than I ever have and the run was only 90secs shy of my best down here.
Speaking of Fast Times, you were 10 when that movie came out (many of your vanquished competitors don’t even know that Sean Penn used to be good-looking and make out with Madonna). As an Auckland youth (according to Wikipedia you are from Auckland, so it must be true), were you into surfing and that whole culture? Or were you more of a swim team, do your homework, get to bed early kind of kid? What do you think you would have done if you hadn’t been a pro triathlete?
I did every sport growing up, Rugby to start which nearly every kiwi kid does! then Tennis, soccer, badminton, cricket……no surfing just boogie boarding. I didn’t start swimming until I was 14 when I started Triathlons.
Speaking of kids (I’m all about segues), I know your kids are/were into BMX, soccer, trampoline, and swimming. Please tell me at least one interesting fact about your kids that you didn’t tell Herbert in any interview with him. [Hello from the other side, Herbert! I hope that you’re well.]
There’s not much more to tell except there getting bigger and faster every day, I went Mountain biking with my eldest son Braeden who is now taller than me and he kicks my arse on the down hills,lucky is old man still has better endurance and I can pull away on the up hills. We have the New Zealand BMX nationals in two weeks so they are training 5 days a week for that so it’s all go!
You have a wife. I have a wife. See? We’re bonding. Does she have a ‘normal’ day job? Did she have to support you through any tough years, or were you already established when you met? When does she think you should retire from triathlon – and do you agree with her?
Yes she’s a primary school teacher and has been since I meet her 22 years ago. Yes my early years were tough and short course(olympic distance racing was so cut throat, there were so many great athletes in that era, Rick Wells, Brad Bevan, Greg Welch, plus another 20 aussies! Lucky I raced in Japan for Team Epson so that funded the early part of my career.
Finally – and we both know I absolutely cannot get away without asking you this question: who would win in a Haka-off, you or Rhodesy (you can hear him try and the end of this episode)?
Ooooooh yeah, and also there’s Kona. What’s the deal? Seeing you race this year would be Sweet As.
Rhodesy would kick my arse in a Haka, he’s done it a few times over his lifetime and pretty good at it! Not sure about Kona, I’ve done Kona around 13 times now and had some great races and some crappy one’s. I’m just enjoying my racing at the moment and looking forward to doing some different events later on this year.
Feel free to mention any sponsors, without whom none of this would have been possible.