AFTER a long day working hard in the sun, Hervey Bay concreter Marty Leahy is probably entitled to sit back, crack open a cold one and relax for a while.

But that's just not his style.

"Beer doesn't interest me," the triathlon-crazed competitor said when asked about his post-work habits.

"I would rather go training, if I get home early enough."

Leahy's hard work was reflected in yesterday's duathlon race at Seafront Oval.

The 44 year old took third in Race 5 of the Hervey Bay Triathlon Club series - his best result since returning to the sport last year after a five-year break because work commitments got in the way.

He finished the duathlon (3km run, 20km ride, 3km run) in one hour and 19 seconds, less than three minutes behind Steven Schofield, who captured his first win of the 2013/2014 series, and young Jordan King, who earned his best finish in the open class.

But yesterday's podium finish was a walk in the park compared to what Leahy will face next month.

For the past three months he has been gearing up for the Hell of the West - an arduous triathlon consisting of a 2km swim, 80km ride and 20km run.

This will be his 16th trip to Goondiwindi, where he was crowned champion multiple times in his age group finished overall fourth in 1992.

Knowing all too well his best years are behind him, Leahy said he was still looking forward to putting his body through the torture that is Hell of the West for the first time in five years.

"I know what I'm in for, but you don't know how you're going to go until you get out there," he said.

"You can do all the training in the world, but once you get on the race track you don't know what it is going to be like."

Leahy, who developed a passion for the sport 25 years ago, said it had been a long road back since deciding to train for triathlons again.

"Mentally it has been hard to get back," he said.

"You think you can go as hard as you used to, but you have to start from scratch basically."

Although his profession can sometimes be physically exhausting and involves long hours, Leahy tries to squeeze in as much running, cycling and swimming training as he can.

It's not unusual for him to go biking or running before the sun comes up or after the sun goes down.

"If you want to train then you do it when you can," he said.

"It's a challenge I enjoy and I hope I will keep going for years."

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