RACING on the steep inclines at Mount Buffalo is the next challenge Junortoun-based triathlete Jarrod Bateson plans to tackle.
The 33-year-old will race in the Bright Skyrun 20km at Stampede Buffalo on April 2.
It's not just about racing on the steep climbs for the first time, but being part of the Trails and Ales fund-raising team.
Latest hit-out for the triathlete was Challenge Shepparton in the 1.9km swim, 90km cycle and 21.1km run.
Bateson achieved splits of 34:22, 2:36 and 1:31 for an overall time of 4:47.01 to be 37th in the men's open.
A highlight was being runner-up in the 30-34 years class.
"It was a tough race, especially in the swim," Bateson said.
"The water was quite choppy, and it was also a hot and windy day."
Bateson's biggest fans, fiancé Heather Oliver and their sons Theo and Lenny were cheering on. Another addition to the family is due later in the year.
The lead-up to Shepparton included the half-marathon triathlon at Geelong.
"My swim time at Geelong was at least a minute faster than at Shepparton."
It was on the bike and run legs at Shepparton where he made up ground.
"Cycling's been a big focus in training," Bateson said of sessions with Trevor Watchman.
At Shepparton the field raced two laps of a 45km loop.
"There was a strong headwind on the last 20ks."
Running is Bateson's strongest leg in the three-discipline event.
"If anything I probably went a bit too fast at the start of the run and was struggling toward the end."
It was Bateson's second start at Challenge Shepparton and the fifth half-Ironman he has run after two hit-outs at Geelong and another at Penrith.
There were great results for triathletes from Bendigo at Challenge Shepparton.
Fraser Walsh was runner-up in the men's elite class in 3:50.17 after times of 24:28 in the 1.9km swim; 2:07 for the 90km cycle; and 1:16 in the 21.1km run.
Nathan Meade was 15th overall and 5th in the men's open in 4:16.08.
Gavin Hicks marked a time of 4:46 to be 34th across the line and fourth in the 40-44 years division.
In the Olympic distance of 1.5km swim, 40km cycle and 10km run, Stephen Bovalino was 16th overall and 2nd in the 30-34 years in 2:15.24.
A star on the footy field in the BFNL, Ethan Foreman contested the Challenge sprint of 500m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run. Foreman's time of 1:07.29 earned runner-up honours overall and first in the 25-29 years class. Bendigo's Donna Todd took out the 55-59 years class in 1:17.34 and was seventh overall.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.