SIMON EDNEY hopes to cap a stunning duathlon season with the biggest prize of them all.
Already this year the Torrington athlete has been crowned British and European champion for his age group.
Now he aims to make it a memorable treble with a shot at the world title in the USA.
This week, Edney flew to North Carolina where he will take part in the ITU World Championships in Concord.
Since returning to serious cycling and running training two years ago, Edney’s rise has been dramatic.
And he puts the progress down to the dedicated hours he spends training — with the help of his dog Barney.
“Barney does all my training sessions with me and he’s probably as fit as I am,” said the North Devon Tri member. “He’s a very slim border collie and he’s a bit of a character.”
Edney will also need to show plenty of character if he is to beat the world’s best duathletes in the Vet50 age group.
They will face a 10k run and 40k bike ride before finishing with a 5k run in the event on September 26.
Having won gold for Great Britain at the European Championships in Budapest, Edney knows a bit about the big occasion.
“You get one shot at it and you’ve got to get it right on the day,” he said.
“You put that Great Britain top on and it makes you glow.
“I know it’s not the Olympics or anything like that but it’s still a medal and you still get up on that podium.
“If you come down that tunnel with the Union Flag, it’s the stuff you dream about.”
Surprisingly his victory in Hungary in May came with a winning margin of more than two minutes.
“It was actually quite an easy race and I coasted for the second run,” said Edney, who also cycles for the North Devon Wheelers.
“It was almost a bit surreal and almost a bit too easy. I think it was because I was quite well prepared.
“It will be a bit tougher to win at the Worlds but it will be nice to have a shot at it.”
Edney finished eighth in his age group at the British Cycling Time Trial Championships in Buckinghamshire last week.
And a superb season on the bike has also seen him crowned National Road Race champion.
Braving miserable July weather, he dominated the race in Bucks after breaking away from the main field.
“It was a horrible day, chucking it down with rain and I decided the best place to be was up the front, right out of the way,” he said.
In his 20s, Edney represented Britain at cycling and he was national junior champion in 1976.
His running experience includes an impressive time of 2-37 at the London Marathon in 2002.
His wife Sally and son Harry are also keen athletes and take part in many of the same races, making it a “real family day out”.
Edney works at Johns Supermarket in Instow and cycles to and from work as part of his daily schedule.
“At the moment I’m concentrating on speed and making sure I don’t do anything silly,” he added.
“You’re watching out that cars don’t mow you down or you don’t chop your hand off with a butcher’s knife!”
Travelling and competing abroad is expensive and Edney is grateful to all those who have supported him financially.
Employers Mike and Anthony Johns have provided sponsorship while customers have made donations.
Sandra Yeo, of Instow, even held a coffee morning to raise funds.
“It’s a nice little friendly shop and a lot of the guys who come in wish me all the best,” said Edney. “They are not just customers, they are friends.”
Donations can be made towards the cost of the trip by calling in at the shop on Marine Parade
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