YOU would not have blamed Mooloolaba's David Dellow for kicking up his feet for the summer and enjoying some well-earned down time.
After a breakthrough win at the Cairns Ironman Triathlon and a ninth placing at the Hawaiian Ironman World Championship, Dellow would have cause to be content with his efforts and give himself the rest of 2012 off.
Especially so considering the Hawaiian event, arguably the toughest race on the planet, was only three weeks ago.
However he will lace on a pair of shoes and again race in the Noosa Triathlon this weekend.
If it were any other event, Dellow, 33, admits he would have been reclining in a hammock rather than pounding the pavement.
However the Noosa Triathlon occupies a special place in his heart and there is also the matter of pride; he is defending champion and determined not to let the title go.
"Any other race and I wouldn't be doing it, I wouldn't keep training," he said.
"But Noosa is my favourite race. I'm so happy to be coming back. It was a huge thrill to win it last year.
"I couldn't stand to not race and let someone take the title. I wanted to come back to try to defend it."
Dellow and girlfriend Caroline Steffen enjoyed a week off following Kona but returned to training upon arrival back on the Coast last week.
He said he was heartened yet disappointed with his result in the world championship race.
Halfway through the run he was placed sixth and could see the fifth and fourth-placed competitors, putting him within shooting distance of the podium.
However he wilted in the closing stages in "spectacular" stifling conditions.
Kona is considered a harsh event and one that you must become acclimatized to over the years.
He has promised that he will return, predicting he will only get better with every attempt.
"I've grown up here in Queensland and I'm used to the heat but no matter where you've lived and training in, it's still spectacular," he said.
"You're running on a flat, black road and it's pretty desolate."
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