Dad, aged 60, is Team GB star at Multisport World Championships
A 60-year-old Isle dad has gone from fun runner to representing Team GB in the Multisport World Championships in Denmark.
In his age group Andrew Billington finished 13th overall and 4th in Great Britain in the duathlon - a 5k run, 20k bike ride with a 2.5k run to finish.
Mr Billington from Epworth started running in a bid to lose weight after tipping the scales at 16 stone 7lbs.
And what started out as a fitness regime has now turned into a competitive passion that he trains seven days a week for.
Speaking about his achievement at the Multisport World Championships he said:”I knew I had improved but to do so well was a dream come true. To know that I was running the same course as elite athletes was amazing.”
Mr Billington now has his sights set on the European Championships in Ibiza where he will be cheered on by wife Amanda and daughter Trudi and her boyfriend Sam.
It has been a speedy rise to the top for Mr Billington who took part in his first triathlon in 2014.
He said: “It’s something I got into later in life. I travelled a lot for work and was staying in hotels and the weight just piled on, about four or five years ago I decided to do something about it.
“I dabbled at first and took part in the Epworth Triathlon in 2014 to raise money for the NRLI.
“After losing around five stone I started taking it seriously in December 2016 and started working with my coach Jono Frary who has really been instrumental in me reaching this level,
“My family and friends couldn’t believe it when I qualified for the Championships in Denmark, at first they followed me around the qualification events and it was a bit of a dream and then when I achieved it they were all incredibly proud.”
Mr Billington now juggles his gruelling training regime with his full time job as a consulting Manager for a software firm.
He said: “Anyone can get into it, there are a lot of park runs in the area that are very popular and to go onto that next level you do need determination and the dedication to train seven days a week.
“It takes a lot of commitment but I’m no different to anyone else, if you put the hard work in then anything is possible.”