SHE hated the swim, she battled wind on the bike and suffered in the run, but Kirsten Howard still said it was 'beautiful' to participate in Sunday's women's only triathlon.
Howard has participated in each of the three Bathurst Wallabies Triathlon Club's women's only events and in the latest race on Sunday she clocked the fastest time of the day.
She covered the 200 metres swim, 16 kilometre cycle leg and 2.5 kilometre run in a time of 43 minutes, 55 seconds.
But for Howard Sunday's race was more about supporting the club's initiative to get more women in involved in the sport.
"I've done all three of these and I do love it, I absolutely love it," she said.
"It's not as big as the last couple of years, that's to be expected, but it's still lovely to know there's people supporting people in the community and especially women's supporting each other.
"It's just beautiful."
While Howard was one of the more experienced triathletes in Sunday's field, 'beautiful' is certainly not a word she would use to describe the swim leg unless referring getting it over and done with.
"Look I wish I could say yes I enjoy it more now, but it's just going to be one of those things that it doesn't like me, I don't like it, but we just respect each other," she laughed.
Given she's not the strongest swimmer, Howard opted to start in one of the last waves of the rolling start. It meant by the time she got out of the pool - clocking a 4:52 split - she had plenty of people to chase on the cycle leg.
However, being an experienced cyclist she was able to handle the blustery conditions well and Howard made up a huge chunk of time.
Her split was a 25:49 - one minute and 36 seconds faster than another other competitor.
"I think that was always going to be really tough, but if you can get on top of the wind in some sections then it can push you a little bit faster," she said.
"It definitely helped to know how to ride in windy conditions - cross wind, head wind, tail wind - that little bit of extra experience definitely helps.
"I think it can be motivating and daunting at the same time having people ahead of you because you know what kind of gap you have to close, but it's motivating because you want to close that gap."
Howard finished the race off with an 11:28 split for the run to take fastest time honours.
"I don't know if it was a cruise in the run, but it's always good to know there are other women suffering out there with you as well," she said.
Joining Howard in the top five were Jille Harris (45:44), Kristy Powyer (47:40), Melissa Rajkovic (48:21) and Ali Corcoran (49:14).
While Howard clocked the fastest cycle leg of the event, the quickest swim honours belonged to Milla Nelson with a 3:37 and Powyer did the best run leg as she covered the distance in 10:46.
But for all those who crossed the finish line, Sunday was a success.
Scenes like Barb Hill helping Nicole Purdon - who dislikes swimming even more than Howard - get through the 200m in the pool and then sticking with her on the cycle leg was a perfect example of the supportive atmosphere of the event.