AN AUSTRALIA Day ambassador and former national touch football and softball player took out Hervey Bay Triathlon Club's first meet of the year.
Hervey Bay's Lars Olsen and Bundaberg's Sherry Ey finished as overall winners as HBTC kicked off its 2016 at Seafront Oval Extension.
For Olsen it capped a huge week in which he was again selected to be an Australia Day ambassador.
It means the 32-year-old, who was named Queensland's Young Australian of the Year in 2008, will travel to Clifton, near Toowoomba, to present an address on the national holiday.
On Sunday he led local athletes to the line at the triathlon, which Olsen said he was lucky to attend.
"My six-month old has been up sick every night so I've only had a few hours sleep each night," he said.
"I didn't know how it was going to go this morning. I had a plan in mind of how I wanted it to go but you never know until you get out there and see how the body's going."
Family always comes first for HBTC's members, though Olsen said the sport worked in well with familial responsibilities.
"Things happen, and if you want to do triathlon you do it for the love of sport, participating first and foremost, then the competitive side after that."
Seafront Oval Extension is the home of two of the next four Hervey Bay meets, and for Olsen and Ey it is one of their favourite locations.
"Personally I prefer it here at Seafront than Gatakers," Olsen said. "That hill doesn't appeal to me and I like the particular bike course we have here. It's nice to move it around as well."
Ey represented Australia in both touch football and softball, and when she left the team sports she took up triathlon.
She never looked back, and has been a regular at Bundaberg and Hervey Bay triathlon events, including the Hervey Bay 100, in which she has competed for the last five years.
Ey said Sunday's event was a good way to start the year, but it was the number of new faces at the race that stood out most.
"Hervey Bay always put on a good event," she said.
"We normally come down for most of them and (Sunday's race) was the biggest one I've seen for a while."
Join the Community.
Get your local news, your way.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.