TRACEY Sewell said it was a different experience to be standing on the podium at a presentation for a triathlon.
"Usually I'm watching, with my husband Richard up there,'' she said.
However, this was Tracey's time to shine. She won the Forster Tri Club's final race of the year, known as The Keith, held to acknowledge one of the club's finest competitors, Keith Pearce. It was run for the first time this year over the sprint distance of a 750 metre swim, 20 kilometre bike and five kilometre run.
It was a handicap race and Tracey was among the early starters. However, she held onto her advantage throughout the course, managing to take line honours to record her first major win. Tracey is the Manning River Times-Iguana Sportstar of the Week, earning a $50 open order at Iguana. Competitors had to complete at least three club races to qualify for The Keith.
Tracey, from Cundletown, usually competes in F-grade, consisting of a 200 metre swim, a nine kilometre ride and a two kilometre run, so she was going up in distance.
"All I really wanted to do was finish,'' she said. "Even with the handicap, I didn't think I had a chance of winning.''
Richard's currently out of action with a stress fracture in his leg. However, he was there to watch the race unfold and he offered Tracey plenty of encouragement.
"Emotional and exhausted,'' Tracey replied when asked how she felt when she crossed the line.
"I must admit it felt a bit strange at the presentation, I really don't like the limelight,'' she added.
The win came soon after Tracey competed in an adventure race at Laurieton. She managed to complete the 12 kilometre mountain bike, 8.9 kilometre run, six kilometre paddle and three kilometre run in 3.5 hours.
"I was happy with that, so I probably knew I was going to be fit enough to finish the tri,'' she said.
Tracey and triathlons go back a fair way - she was introduced to the sport through her brother and father and her first race was at Kurnell when she was 21. She's the Forster Tri Club treasurer and also a life member. Tracey doesn't think she's particularly strong in any of the three triathlon distances.
"But I just love it, the training and the competition. I enjoy that I'm getting fit even as I get older. I really enjoy going in the club events.''
She also completes gym classes most days a week. And when she doesn't Tracey manages a five kilometre walk.
"I try to do something active every day,'' she explained.
Tracey has no plans at attempting anything other than club races when next season rolls around. However, she hopes to start in The Keith again, where she'll be doing her best to retain her title.