A Chorley triathlete battled through the pain barrier to win her first world title.
Katie Hewison, 26, originally from Chorley, has had a turbulent year being plagued with a number of injuries but she put it all behind her at the Gijon ITU Duathalon Championships in Spain.
The ex-Horwich Harrier was spurred on by her husband Sam Hewison and her family to get over the finish line in a time of 2.02.45.
She said: “I was speechless after the event and was over the moon as the past 12 months have been difficult.
“However, when I crossed the finish line I realised that it had all been worthwhile.
“The conditions were humid and I managed to keep in the group at the front and we all broke away from the rest.
“I have learnt a lot about the duathalon which is a technical and you have to be patient so you are not tiring yourself out from the bike section.
“I was confident that if I paced myself I could run fast after that.
“I did have a bit of a problem with cramp because I had not taken on enough fluids and also because of a lack of training with injuries.
“We were on the last lap going into the stadium and I could see the second-placed girl was on my shoulder.
“All I could hear was my coach, husband and family shouting and they said I had worked on training which gave me a little bit extra to win.”
Katie can now look forward to a well-earned break from the triathlon season but she will not take her foot off the gas as she searches for more glory.
She said: “I am going to be doing some cross-country running and also work on my swimming so that I am ready to compete in the triathlon again.
“I have learned a lot about the sport mentally and going down to training 25 hours per week will stop me getting injuries. I still want to compete in the Olympics and even though London may have come around too soon I will still try.
“You never say never and who knows what might happen.”
Hewison is a former Commonwealth Mountain Running champion and she tasted success being runner-up in the Nancy ETU Duathlon European Championships in April 2010.
Apart from her success on the sporting field, Katie made headlines after winning £40,000 in cult television programme ‘Deal or No Deal’ to try to chase her Olympic dream by training full-time.