BYRON Bay triathlete Ben Ferris has just returned triumphant from racing in Thailand were he competed in two international races.
Ben said it was a very tough but successful week.
"My main focus was a half ironman race: 1.9km swim, 90km ride and 21km run," Ben said.
"I ended up taking gold by beating the second place competitor by three-and-a-half minutes."
Ben qualified for the Half Ironman World Championship to be held in Las Vegas, but he had to turn down the trip because of lack of funds.
In the meantime, Ben has started a triathlon training group in Byron Bay called Tri It Mate.
He runs a few bike and run sessions for beginners who are interested in getting into the sport.
The group meets at the Green Garage at 6.30am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with longer sessions on the weekend.
Ben said he had the capability to take his sport "all the way to the top".
His next race is in New Zealand which he hopes to win as there are vacant slots up for grabs to compete in the world's toughest one-day race, the Hawaii Ironman World Championships next October.
"I would like to thank the Green Garage for all their support and sponsorship," he said.