PETER Kerr choked back tears yesterday after salvaging his triathlon career with an emotional victory at the Noosa Triathlon.
The 24-year-old put a torrid year behind him to win the coveted event in 01:46.35, 16 seconds ahead of Ryan Fisher, with Taylor Cecil a further 34 seconds adrift.
"I'm absolutely stoked. It's been a bit of a rough and crappy year," Kerr said.
"Something like this puts money in my pocket and actually keeps me in the sport."
"It's been a year with nothing (but) now I've come out with something ... and will be able to stick around for a bit longer. Twelve grand will keep me in the sport for another three years."
The Victorian said he had been considering quitting after a lean season, after which he finished the year ranked 92nd in the world.
"At the end of this year I was almost 50-50 so this (win) is fantastic," he said.
Kerr started the season well enough, winning the Mooloolaba Continental Cup race, but things then went awry.
"I went into a bit of hole," he said.
"I went to be the training partner for Brendan Sexton for his Olympic campaign and that really took it out of me for the year.
"It showed in San Diego where I didn't finish. I've spent the rest of the year trying to pick up the pieces and it just didn't really happen, so I was disappointed."
But the Warrnambool product said it was important to bounce back.
"Legends like Courtney (Atkinson) and Macca (Chris McCormack) all say there are down times in the sport and nine times out of 10 there are down times," he said. "You get slagged off by the armchair critics and that's funny and very entertaining but to be able to put one out there which really just shows I'm doing my best and to really come through, it's really good."
Kerr told the Daily last month he didn't think the Noosa Triathlon would be won by any of the elite competitors backing up from recent events and said the victor would be someone who had trained particularly for the event.
And so it was proved yesterday.
"Last year I went absolutely rubbish at Noosa but that was coming off world champs," he said.
"This year I absolutely wanted to win it 100%. I spent six weeks really prepping for it."
Kerr finished third at Noosa in 2010 before a developmental year on the world circuit last year.
"Then this year I tried to step up to the elite ranks and the fact I was 24 and fairly under-developed really showed out against the big guys," he said.
"But I haven't really had the year I was hoping for but something like this (Noosa triumph) makes it not matter so much."
Kerr was second out of the water behind Joseph Lampe but slipped to ninth after the bike leg, when Lampe held than a one-minute advantage on the field.
However, Kerr quickly took command with the quickest run leg (31:40).
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