The race was so tough that Benjamin Shaw literally walked the last few steps across the finish line on Saturday at the East Coast Park.
But the 21-year-old Irishman was ahead of the rest in the elite category at the Cold Storage Singapore International Triathlon, when he finished the race in 1hr 57min and 56sec in the hot afternoon sun.
After catching his breath and dousing himself with water, Shaw said: “The swim wasn’t too bad – there was a Norwegian guy who just led us around and the pace was decent enough.
“I then tried to get the bike leg going a bit but no one really wanted to do anything, so I dug in and the gap became bigger and bigger.
“The run was the toughest for everyone – it wasn’t very fast, it was very hot and a grind that just went on forever.”
Asked if he was satisfied with his timing, Shaw gave a cheeky smile and said: “I won, so it’s all good.”
Also struggling in Saturday’s heat and humidity was Japanese triathlete Chika Sato, who won the women’s elite category in 2:13:37.
Both Shaw and Sato completed the Olympic triathlon distance of a 1.5km swim, 40km bike ride and a 10km run.
The 27-year-old Sato said: “I’m very happy with my results today. “It’s humid in Singapore so I did have some difficulty managing the run, but overall it was a good experience racing with the top few women in Asia.”
Singapore’s Winona Howe, 18, and Denise Chia, 16, clinched the silver and bronze, respectively, in the women’s junior elite category earlier.