On the eve of the annual E&E Waste Hell of the West, Goondiwindi was hit with a massive dust and wind storm with winds of over 80km/h.
The storm had 500 visiting athletes thinking they had really just entered HELL.
However the weather cleared and the army of volunteers were able to rebuild the course to ensure it was ready for the 28th edition of this iconic race.
As the elite field where introduced to the crowd that had gathered at on the banks of river it was clear the favourites to take out the HOTW 2019 were the defending champions and race record holders, Max Neumann and Sarah Crowley.
The siren sounded the start as first light appeared on the Macintrye River and all athletes knew they were in for one Hell of a tough day.
In the males race, Max was the first to exit the water with a 26min and 19sec 2km swim and he only extended his lead.
Even with the hot steamy conditions following the storm the previous day, Max rounded off his day in style, breaking a long-standing run-course record with a (1:08:50) 1hr 8min 20km run leg.
Crossing the line in a gallop in a super impressive HOTW record time of 3:30:10.
In the women’s race it was not surprising to see up-and-comer Holly Grice leading the front pack of males out of the water.
But it didn’t take long for Sarah Crowley to catch Holly on the bike and then go on to dominate the race.
On to the run, and it was game over as Sarah powered through the 20k run in 1:18:37 absolutely smashing her previous record by 8mins in a total time of 3:50:05. WOW!
Notable Goondiwindi Club performances: Nathan Josefski who is a teacher at Tara and a member of the Goondiwindi Triathlon Club nearly broke the 4hr barrier on his way to 8th overall (4:00:46).
Goondiwinidi Tri Club secretary Sally Poole placed second in her age group.
Milestones: Allan Moustoukas had to fight the flood waters from Ayr to get to the start line of his 15th consecutive HOTW.
Gareth Buckley (60-64yrs) and Allan Pitman (70-74 yrs) completed their 27th and 26th HOTW respectively.