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Hendy maintains ironman tradition with debut win

TJ Hendy won the Nutri-Grain series evemt yesterday.
TJ Hendy won the Nutri-Grain series evemt yesterday.

THE Hendy name is synonymous with Ironman racing and that looks set to continue as TJ Hendy celebrated his debut win in the Nutri-Grain series at Queenscliff Beach.

It was 20 years since his father, ironman legend Trevor Hendy, won his last race, and TJ held his own against a strong and experienced field of athletes.

Former Far North Coast surf lifesavers Jy Timperly and Nathan Gray finished 12th and 13th.

Meanwhile, Hendy managed to hold off Shannon Eckstein, Matt Poole and Ali Day, pulling away from the pack with a great ski leg.

"It's hard to come up with the words to say how much this means to me,” Hendy said.

"I just cant believe it to be honest. I have put so much work into this and you question whether you are working hard enough and then I just had to throw

that out and put my foot on the line and see what I could do.

"When I let go of the need to impress a couple of people, that's when I finally won.

"In the swim leg Pooley (Matt Poole) dropped me under a wave and I had to swim right back up to him and I was so stoked with that.

"I wanted to get on my ski first and not look back. I had a little turn around the cans and realised I had about 10 metres on these guys and I just had to go and see what I could do.”

Trevor knew he was not meant to go to the race today, instead watching it from the Gold Coast with his family.

"I'm so proud of him. TJ didn't decide he wanted to race professionally until the age of 17 so he has been a bit behind the pack but I knew he could do this - what a moment for our family,” he said.

"He has an amazing coach in Zane Hamill and I credit his training partners, Ali Day, Max Beattie and Nathan Gray for helping him be the best he can be.

"I sent TJ a long text before the race telling him we love him and this is his moment to shine so when we spoke after the race there wasn't much more to say apart from screaming.”

In the women's competition, 18-year-old Umina High School student Jemma Smith had a narrow win over Georgia Miller.

The next event is at Coolum next month.