LAUNCESTON triathlete James Hodge endured the toughest conditions of his professional career to take out the 2013 Metaman 70.3 in Singapore on Saturday.
It was the third professional title for the 21-year-old Hodge, now based in Wagga Wagga while he completes a five-year radiography degree.
His victory in hot and humid conditions followed wins at the 2012 Busselton 70.3 and the 2013 Japan 70.3 in June, as well as several top five placings in other events since turning pro last year.
Hodge said the conditions in Singapore were the most difficult he had encountered.
``At race start I was sweating like a water fountain with the temperature and humidity at 37 degrees and 78 per cent respectively at 8.30am - it was crazy,'' he said.
``I got on the bike for the one 90km loop around the island and was instantly hit by a wall of heat, and I honestly thought that I was not going to make it to the end of the course.
``The heat surrounded your whole body and when I got off the bike the humidity had risen to 82 per cent and the temperature was 41 degrees and I still had to run the 21km.
``I was in a lot of pain at the finish just from the amount of stress the conditions put on my body.
``I eventually won the race by a tad over 4 and a half minutes which I was stoked about but in all my other races I had gone under four hours but this one took me four hours 20 minutes.
``I talked to Matty White and a couple of others who raced in the full ironman on the same day and they have all raced the Hawaiian Ironman at Kona before but they said it was the hardest race they had ever done and the hottest.''
Hodge has now won races in Australia, China, Japan and Indonesia which he said easily exceeded the goals he set for himself this early in his career.
His next race will be the Noosa Ironman in November.