The last kilometre of a 1500 swim, 40km bike and 10km run is where it counts for Emily Kneale.
That is when the 17-year-old looks to the crowd for support to get her across the finish line.
"The people on the sidelines are important," Kneale said.
"The last 1km is the hardest ... You're just breaking through the wall, saying to yourself, 'I can do this'."
The same goes for 16-year-old triathlete Abbie Mortimer.
"Having a good support team really helps," she said.
The pair are among a team of 41 triathletes from the Tauranga Triathlon Club selected to represent New Zealand in the 2018 ITU Gold Coast World Championships Age Group Team in September.
Kneale qualified for the standard distance of a 1500 swim, 40km bike and 10km run, and Mortimer will compete in the sprint race which is half the distance.
The Tauranga Girls' College students say although triathlon is an individual sport, they always support each other as a team.
"You always have to remember you're out there for yourself," Kneale said. "But at the same time, we are a team."
"We are both in the race, we're competing against each other but it is still team vibes," Mortimer said.
It is the first time the pair have been selected for a world championship.
"To actually represent the country is [awesome]," Kneale said.
"We have been training together for four or five years now and it so cool."
"We have trained for three months' solid up until the qualification dates. Every single day, at least one training a day."
"It was a relief when we finally got there [qualified]," Kneale said.
In the lead up to the Tauranga Triathlon Club contingent leaving for the Gold Coast on September 9, committee president Adam Hazlett said the local triathletes would be kept busy with events and training sessions.
This means early morning winter swims and bike rides as well as trying to acclimatise athletes who will go from training in winter conditions to competing in the Gold Coast's warmer weather.
"You've got to be pretty self-motivated to get up in the morning for training," Hazlett said.
Acclimatising efforts can include indoor wind training sessions with heaters on, he said.
Club members had also connected on social media to organise suitable training sessions together.
Both Mortimer and Kneale spend up to two hours swimming every morning and complete about four bike rides, and four runs each week.
Kneale said she liked the challenge of combining three different sports into one race.
"Like Abbie, I came from a swimming background but I never was going to be a star swimmer," Kneale said.
"I never was going to be a biker, or runner. But when you put them altogether, it is not about being so good in one discipline, you have to be consistent the whole way through. That is what worked to my advantage."
Hazlett said there were 18 spots in each age group and with 41 Tauranga triathletes selected, he was pleased with the representation level of his club.
- Additional reporting Kristin Macfarlane
THE GIRLS' TOP TRIATHLON TIPS:
- It is very much a mental game. Have a good support crew on the sidelines
- Train as a group, but friendly competition is good
- Push yourself, make goals
- Keep fit, keep healthy
TAURANGA TRIATHLON CLUB ATHLETES GOING TO WORLDS:
SAM DURRANT 23
CRAIG KIRKWOOD 31
MURRAY O'DONNELL 41