TAREE-born Luke McKenzie turned in a stunning performance to finish second at the 2013 Ironman World Championships in Hawaii.
"The best day of my life," McKenzie said after his amazing race.
Belgian Frederik Van Lierde won the race in 8:12:29 with McKenzie, who led for a long stretch, second 2.50 minutes behind in 8:15:19,
After a tough 2011, McKenzie finished the year on a high when he was ninth in in Kona, Hawaii, in 4.24 hours.
But victory at Ironman Cairns 2013 set him up for a huge world championships. And on Sunday, he delivered.
In his post-race interview with triathlon legend Greg Welch, McKenzie paid tribute to his lifelong love of the sport which was nurtured on the Mid-North Coast.
"I've loved the sport since we worked on an aid station at Forster years and years ago," McKenzie said.
McKenzie won his first triathlon at South West Rocks in 1995.