Lennox looks to be fighting fit for Highland Cross defence
GORDON Lennox says claiming a hat trick of Highland Cross titles this weekend would be his biggest accomplishment in the race yet.
The Kindeace athlete will be looking to defend his duathlon title which he has won for the last two years.
But after sustaining a hamstring injury shortly after winning the 2018 crown, he has faced a battle to recover from it.
However the 35-year-old says he is getting close back to full fitness.
“I have only just got back into running due to my hamstring problem,” he said.
“Two weeks after last year’s Highland Cross, I competed at Ironman Bolton when I basically ran on one leg due to the damage I sustained. I then raced a 10k afterwards and damaged the whole hamstring.
“I had to work the entire year to recover and get back into running.”
The Inverness Harrier believes his biggest challenge will come from team mate and Muir of Ord athlete Donnie MacDonald.
However, he also rates Nairn-based runner John Newsom, who finished second last year, among others, as capable of crossing the line first.
“Donnie might be my main threat this year as he is running very well just now.
“He is also generally a good cyclist.
“However the likes of John can never be underestimated in any race.
“Ironman athlete Peter Fenwick is also a good runner and cyclist and will also be a contender to win the race.”
Despite his success in the last two years, Lennox rarely takes part in duathlon or cycling competitions.
He says building up a big advantage in the run has been key to previous wins and will look to do the same on Saturday.
“I generally don’t do a lot of cycling so it is quite hard.
“Generally when you come off the run, you have this massive lactic acid threshold in your legs.
“Then having to jump on a bike and cycle afterwards is hard.
“Other athletes who are used to cycling can take 20 minutes off you on the bike stage.
“To win, I have to be able to get away from those athletes on the run.
“When the gun goes, I have to get out running quick.
“The weather is looking favourable and hopefully I should be capable of getting a third win out of it.”