A Border product is Australia's most remote ironman.
Former Murray High School student Nathan Groch trains by himself in Port Hedland - a world away from the cluster of competitors based on the eastern seaboard, particularly on the Gold and Sunshine Coast.
"The loneliness is probably the hardest part, so much of your time is on a wind trainer (indoor bike) staring at the wall or TV," he said.
"When you're training 25 hours a week and on top of a heavy work schedule, it doesn't really leave a lot of time for a social life, but to get to the level that I have you have to make those sacrifices."
Groch moved to Port Hedland in his employment with BHP in late 2012 and given the heat - from January to April the average temperature is around 36 degrees, with a low of 25 - it's all timing.
He wakes around 4.15am and trains for two hours before going to work for a 12-hour day.
"The sessions have to be done either first thing in the morning or even when it's dark," he said.
"You can swim (during the day), but you can't develop the speed that you need to compete at an elite level, you just can't physically push yourself to the speed that you need to go."
It's a long way from the national level water polo player who moved to the US in 2007.
He played next to no sport there and returned home after five years, before moving to Western Australia's Pilbara region.
After a shoulder reconstruction in 2013, a good mate in Shane Holliday gave him a racing bike and had a $50 bet that he wouldn't do an Ironman in the next 12 months.
Groch won the bet.
"Yeah, I thank him all the time, we're still really good mates, we're still in contact nearly every day," he said.
"For him to know my personality and challenge me was enough to get me over the line."
Ironman is one of the world's most gruelling sporting events.
It's a 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and a 42.2km run.
Groch's first race was at Busselton in Western Australia in late 2014. He finished 107th overall, but the bug had struck.
Twelve months later, he finished 44th overall and, more importantly, third in his age group, making him eligible to contest the World Championships in Hawaii in 2016.
He was the seventh Australian in his age group.
"I love being competitive and I love competing against myself, that's probably the biggest incentive," he said.
"It's up to you to do the training, it's up to you to be physically and mentally fit and also execute the race.
"Unlike team sports, where it might come down a bounce of the ball or a team-mate making a poor decision and you lose the game, in Ironman you are in complete control, unless of course you have a mechanical issue with the bike."
Groch qualified for his second World Championships in 2017 and claimed Sportsperson of the Year at Western Australia's Regional Achievement and Community Awards.
He also won a second successive Port Hedland Sportsperson of the Year award but, despite the success, it was a rollercoaster season.
Frustrated with age group racing and rolling starts, he decided the only way forward was to take his pro licence.
In 2018 he balanced work in the mining industry and full-time training, competing in Australia and South East Asia, picking up fourth placings (overall) at Ironman Malaysia and Japan.
"Yeah, that was an incredible feeling," he said of the Japan result.
"I didn't swim very well actually and I got out of the water in about 10th position I think.
"I just jumped on the bike and went hell for leather and it took about an hour to catch up with a group of five guys (who were fourth through to eighth).
"The effort that I put in to catch the group caught up with me and when I got off the bike I fell back a little bit, I ended up getting off the bike in eighth, about eight minutes down from first.
"I had a strong running leg and I ended up a minute and a half from winning the race."
But when you're competing at that level for around nine hours, it's not always going to end well and Groch has hit the wall.
"It's like one of those wind up toys where the battery goes flat and everything stops moving, it's that kind of feeling," he said.
Unfortunately, it went a step further in Indonesia.
"I actually passed out in a race, I had to be medically evacuated back to Singapore," he said matter-of-factly.
"I remember getting off the bike and starting the run, I can kind of remember being sick in the run, I was taken off the course about seven kilometres into the run, so I'd been running for 45 minutes.
"I was passed out for eight hours, so it was a case of lights on, but nobody was home."
Yet despite that scare, the 33-year-old still loves Ironman.
"I'm lucky that I've found something not only I'm good at, but I do genuinely enjoy it, it's given me some opportunities that I never would have had," he said.
"I've been able to travel the world and meet some incredible people and had some really good experiences, particularly in Thailand where you can see some of the Foundation work that's going on with the businesses that put the events on to increase the community spirit and develop the area, they're experiences I'll remember forever."
Groch is also a passionate advocate for mental health awareness and education.
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And he wants to make Ironman a full-time career, although there's little money involved.
His employer allowed him to take nine months off last year, where he based himself in Spain and raced throughout Europe from May to September.
He then contested events in China and Thailand on his way home, snaring fifth place in the latter race..
Despite his relatively rapid rise, Groch has much to master.
"I'm still trying to learn how to ride a bike," he said.
He failed to finish in England after a crash, but says, overall, the Ironman ride's a highlight.
"I like making a better person of myself every time I set off in a race and I think that's the biggest motivation, it's been a joy to live it."