Brisbane-based professional Sam Betten has won his third consecutive Julia Creek Dirt and Dust Triathlon in outback Queensland.
Betten won the male open competition with a commanding lead, completing the course, east of Mount Isa, in one hour.
He says a strong headwind and the dry heat did make conditions tough, particularly on the bike.
The 2012 Olympian Emma Jackson won the female category and it was her second win at Julia Creek.
"That ride was absolutely brutal," she said.
"Last year I remember averaging 42 to 43 kilometres per hour on the cycle leg and this year I think I was lucky if I averaged 35/35kph.
"It was really really tough and the dry heat out here just adds to the whole toughness of the race and makes for just a really iconic event."
She says she enjoyed the swim leg, despite concerns over low water levels in Eastern Creek.
"It was only 400 metres but still it's great that the swim could do ahead and I didn't have any problem with it," she said.
"I'm really happy I got to swim in there ... a couple of times my hands hit the rocks but you just kept swimming and did just a few shorter strokes out there."
Festival organiser Margie Ryder says this year's swim leg was an experience for everyone.
Ms Ryder says there were a record 450 competitors in the seniors' triathlon and after an initial count they reached their target of 3,000 people attending.
She says the low water levels in Eastern Creek left a few of the swim competitors muddy.
"A few athletes were showing off their gravel rash knees and mud ... in their fingernails where people actually swam or crawled through a tiny bit of mud but it wasn't that bad," she said.
"It was an experience and they're still talking about it today."
She says the weekend's festival has been the biggest yet.
"The girls are still in the office tallying numbers as we speak but by the look of the armbands we hit that 3,000 mark which was something that was our goal a few years ago," she said.
"If we could hit the 3,000 [mark] we would be happy with that and with the new venue and everything it was just a better venue, everything looked brilliant, the hill looked gorgeous, so the numbers made it look good."
Meanwhile, police say they were disappointed with the number of drink-drivers caught on the Sunday morning but reported no major incidents over the weekend.