TASMANIANS played a dominant role in the prestigious Busselton triathlon, winning three of the age divisions.
Hobart's Hayden Armstrong won the 35-39s category en route to 11th overall, one place ahead of Dylan Hill, who claimed the 25-29s, while fellow Launceston athlete James Hodge seemed like repeating last year's third-place finish before injury forced him to pull out.
However, Launceston still managed a podium finish with Kate Pedley third overall and first among the female 30-34-year-olds, despite being disadvantaged by competing with the amateur rather than elite entries.
``I'd only done two half-ironmans before so did not want to race with the pros because I didn't want to lose all my confidence,'' the 30-year-old explained.
``I just saw it as a learning curve so thought I'd just race in my age group and see where I'm at, so I'm really stoked to win my age group and get third overall.''
A regular on the Tasmanian running circuit and winner of the Launceston 5km, Pedley has twice won the Coles Bay Triathlon and also claimed her age group over the Olympic distance at Devonport before contesting the Balfour Burn on the same day, but was genuinely surprised by her result in Western Australia.
Completing her weakest leg, the 1.9-kilometre swim in 29:36, had her in ninth place but she moved up to fifth after a 2:27:49 90.1km bike ride and claimed two more placings with a blistering 1:20:42 21.1km run - the fastest of all female competitors.
``I really enjoyed it and had to work a lot on the swimming and getting `k's into my legs on the bike,'' said the former Hagley Farm and Launceston Church Grammar student, whose overall race time of 4:21:41 was nearly 10 minutes quicker than her nearest age group rival.
``Obviously running is my best leg and I love supporting the local events in Tasmania but a few friends suggested I get into triathlon and it's gone from there.
``It's taken me a while to understand how it all works but next year I hope to race with the pros.''
A year after also claiming third place, 22-year-old Hodge was in second place after a 23:09 swim and fourth after a 2:04:22 ride but withdrew in the run.
Hill, 27, was 48th overall after a 26:48 swim, 22nd after the 2:12:41 ride and claimed 10 more places during his 1:19:25 run for an overall time of 4:02:19.
Armstrong, 35, significantly improved on last year's time, leaping up eight places in the process.
In 33rd place after a 26:15 swim, he was 14th after a 2:09:30 ride and finished 11th following a 1:22:47 run and overall 4:02:11.