Geordie Edmiston has been competing in triathlons for nearly three decades, and he has now reached the pinnacle of the sport.
Edmiston, 50, a 1981 Altoona Area High School graduate who now resides in Hollidaysburg, will be one of 12 representatives on the United States team in the World Triathlon Championships set for Sunday, Sept. 15 at Hyde Park in London, England.
The triathlon is a grueling medley that combines running, swimming and cycling. Edmiston, who has been competing in triathlons since the age of 22, was picked for the United States team's world competition after finishing the 1.5-kilometer swim, 40K cycling event, and 10K run in a personal-best time of two hours and 10 minutes last August at the United States National Triathlon Championships in Burlington, Vt.
Geordie Edmiston will run a 10K as part of the world triathlon Sept. 15.
Edmiston was one of just 10 athletes in his 50-54 age group who was picked by the United States Triathlon Association, the sport's governing body in the U.S.A., to participate in the world championships.
"They look at all your placings in triathlons throughout the year, and you have to be ranked among the top five percent [All-American status] in your age group in the country,'' Edmiston said of the USTA's selection process.
Edmiston has very modest goals for the World Triathlon Championships.
"One way to look at it is that I'm representing the United States, and I really don't want to embarrass myself or my country,'' Edmiston said. "I want to train hard, and to have the best race I can have, but there are a lot of variables that come into play, including how I feel on the day of the event. Time-wise, I'd like to finish around two hours and five minutes. That would be a [new] personal record.''
Edmiston has run several 26.2-mile marathons, including the Boston Marathon, which he finished in three hours, three minutes four years ago. He has also completed several Iron Man Triathlons - which consist of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and 26.2-mile running marathon.
"I've done four full Iron Man Triathlons and about 10 half-ones,'' he said, noting that his best time in the full Iron Man event was an 11-hour, 15-minute effort in North Carolina several years ago.
Edmiston also helps out as an assistant coach with the Hollidaysburg Area High School cross country program. Third-year Hollidaysburg head coach Lynette Luke is grateful for Edmiston's input.
"He's tireless,'' Luke said. "He sets the pace for running workouts with our boys team, and he's usually the first person to cross the finish line during our track workouts. He'll often do our workouts after he's done doing his own personal workouts. He's been really helpful with our program, and he has pretty extensive experience coming up with training regimens that the team uses.''
Edmiston - who is employed as a sales manager at the McLanahan Corporation in Hollidaysburg - likes cycling better than running or swimming. His typical week of training includes six days of workouts, including weekends that involve 120-mile bike rides, 20-mile runs, and two-mile swims. Edmiston's wife, Kelly, and grown daughter Erin, 22, have been his biggest fans.
Erin even has now started participating in triathlons herself.
"My family encourages me, and adjusts their schedules so I can get my training in,'' Edmiston said. "If you don't have a good support system, no matter how hard you train, this is difficult to do, because it requires a major time commitment.''