Let the celebrations begin: Fiona Gallagher relaxing with her partner Joe Sutheran after last Sunday’s big race

Leaving a cold winter behind, Queenstown triathlete Fiona Gallagher last Sunday posted her best full ironman result in the Australian tropical city of Cairns.

The 30-year-old was sixth-fastest female in the Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship and overall age-group winner, her time of 9 hours 29 minutes 56 seconds — for a 3.8-kilometre swim, 180km bike leg and 42.2km run — being ‘‘a massive personal best’’.

There were only pros ahead of her, but also pros behind her.

‘‘I’m pretty happy with that,’’ she says.

Training for the heat meant she had to ‘‘get a little bit creative’’.

‘‘I guess it was a nice confidence-booster again, to be sixth female.’’

Her result qualified her for the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii in October, however Gallagher says she can’t afford to go — ‘‘it’s not my time yet’’.

Early this year she made her pro debut at the Tauranga Half, in Mount Maunganui, however she’s since decided to continue with age-group racing ‘‘for another little while’’.

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