Bendigo triathlete Fraser Walsh has secured one of his best ever results at the 2021 Ironman 70.3 on the Sunshine Coast.
The 27-year-old finished fourth overall in the race at Mooloolaba with a final time of 3:41:37, a margin of 3:43:04 behind professional men's category winner Nicholas Free.
"As soon as I finished the race I started receiving texts from my family, friends and even people on social media," Walsh said.
"It really was an awesome feeling that was made even better by the incredible atmosphere from the fans at Mooloolaba.
"I was also very happy to have my girlfriend and coach up in Queensland with me."
Fraser has been competing in triathlon events since a teenager and has been based in the sunshine state for most of the year.
He made the move up north due to the uncertainty of border restrictions and to be closer to his coach, in addition to most of the sport's events taking place in Queensland.
In the lead-up to the race at the weekend Fraser had aimed for a top-10 finish, but to bring his result down to fourth, he couldn't be happier and more confident in his ability as a triathlete.
"I've undertaken quite a lot of training in recent months, around 25-30 hours per week," he said.
"However, as athletes we can train as much as we want but the challenge is to ensure we can pull it all together when it counts on race day.
"My results have always been thereabouts and close, but last weekend at Mooloolaba was my breakthrough.
"It's definitely been a long journey."
The journey began back in Bendigo when Fraser was around 16 years old and was inspired by fellow triathletes David Meade and Leon Griffin.
He then progressed to racing long course events, which included travelling to the United States to race at Ironman Boulder.
"I really have been able to learn a lot from both David and Leon, I watched them for years competing in the long course stuff and wanted to do it myself."
During the past six years Walsh has been hard at it "chipping away", but after the recent result he is ready to continue with strong momentum into his next event, the Noosa Triathlon.
Walsh is competing in the Olympic distance event scheduled for late October, which includes swimming 1.5km, cycling 40km and running 10km.
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