Bendigo athlete Markcus Brown has sealed the biggest ever-win of his career.
The 40-year-old Bendigo fireman won last week's Ultraman Australia event at Noosa in tough wet conditions.
The three-day competition saw athletes from across Australia undertake a 10km swim and a 140km ride on the first day, with Brown finishing in third position.
To back up the strong performance the following day he finished second overall in the 280.1km bike race to put himself in prime position for the final day.
The last leg of the event included an 84.3km double marathon which Brown conquered to finish first and nearly 20 minutes ahead of his nearest competitor.
"It certainly is a reward for all of the hard work, " Brown said.
Last year Brown competed in the same event and finished third overall.
"I couldn't be prouder to come back 12 months later and back it up by going from third to first," he said.
"During the year I did a lot of work with my coach Jason Shields where we focused on increasing training volume with longer swims and ride sessions which have definitely paid off."
On the final day Brown set off out of the gates at full speed and simply didn't look back.
With rain pouring and an 84.3km run ahead, Brown buckled down on the task at hand.
"I had my crew up with me and during the final run we'd organised to meet every six kilometres which helped break up the day into smaller benchmarks rather than just one massive run.
"I found it helpful to have those as markers to focus on."
Brown's Shepparton based coach, Jason Shields from Thrive Endurance, couldn't be prouder of his win
"We were all super pumped when he crossed the finish line," Shields said.
"After last year he said to me he wanted to improve his running and swimming - and that's exactly what he did'
"He does the work, never complains and is a very modest man.
"He's a very deserving champion."
With the win to his name, Brown is planning for a few quiet months ahead before he returns to competition with an Ironman event in December.
Also in action at Noosa was fellow Bendigo athlete Lani Bullen who unfortunately did not finish the final leg.
"I fell apart with around 1.5km to go on the final day, it was devastating," Bullen said.
"It was disappointing but at the same time I'm proud of myself for getting that far."
It has only motivated the keen athlete even more and she has vowed to return stronger than ever in 2023.
"100 per cent I will do it again, the moment registrations reopen I will be putting my name straight down," she said.
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