KEITH Tuynman battled through a torturous bike leg to complete his ninth Cairns Ironman on Sunday.
Intense humidity and a nasty headwind made for the most brutal ride of any of Tuynman's Cairns campaigns but he fought hard to finish the 3.8 kilometre swim, 180km bike and 42.2km run in a time of 12 hours, 36 minutes and 29 seconds.
The Bathurst competitor was seventh out of the water in his division but after a brief shower of rain during the bike leg the difficulty ramped up thanks to the added humidity.
Tuynman slipped back to 64th in the 50-54 years category but picked up four spots during a solid run leg to notch up another completed Ironman in the testing Queensland conditions.
"The swim was a washing machine as usual but that was okay. I did 1:03 and was out of the water seventh in my age group but from about the 100km mark on the bike that's when things started to go pear shaped for me," Tuynman said.
"I couldn't ride. I stopped, had a gel and poured ice water over me to freshen me up. It rained for about five minutes, it stopped, the sun came out and then it was steaming the road.
"There were 30 to 35km/h headwinds, and you get them all the way coming back from Port Douglas into Cairns. The last 30km of the bike is brutal. It's all flat and there's no hills where you get the chance to catch a break.
"Half the run we had some drizzly rain but that was good.
"It is what it is. You have to go out there and suck it up, and it's the same for everybody there."
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Tuynman was joined in Cairns by fellow Bathurst competitors Luke Gillmer, Josh Stapley, Terry Roberts and Lucy Hobson who all contested the 70.3 edition.
Gillmer was the fastest of the Bathurst group, finishing in 4:38:15 to come home 16th overall and sixth in his division. Gillmer had briefly put himself inside the top 10 following his bike leg.
Stapley (4:44.28) and Roberts (5:02:03) both came third in their respective age categories. Stapley emerged first out of the water while Roberts played the catch up game during an excellent run leg.
Hobson (6:08:53) held onto a top five spot for some time before finishing seventh in the women's 18-24 years division.
"It's great having other people from Bathurst here. You'll all supporting each other, and that's the same for any race," Tuynman said.
"It's good to see because, as anyone in the sport knows, it's tough. The support is always greatly appreciated."