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Edderton athlete confirmed to defend his title at Highland Cross duathlon

By Will Clark

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REIGNING champion Ross Gollan will be defending his title at the Highland Cross on Saturday.

Mens first place winner Ross gollan. Picture: Callum Mackay..
Mens first place winner Ross gollan. Picture: Callum Mackay..

The 39th running of the unique coast to coast charity duathlon will see athletes cycle and run 50 miles from Kintail through Glen Affric and Strathglass to Beauly

Organisers have confirmed Edderton athlete Gollan will be defending his title after claiming the crown last year.

He took victory in the 2022 race in a time of three hours 21 minutes and 14 seconds.

Since his victory at the event 12 months ago, he has gone on to represent Great Britain at the World Mountain and Trial Running Championships.

Among his biggest rivals to take his crown, Nairn athlete and champion cross country runner John Newsom finished in second place in last year’s race.

He will be looking to go one better as he looks to secure the title for the first time.

Other contenders for the title include Ewan McCarthy from Sweden but is originally from Kingussie. He finished in fourth place last year.

Jack Blaiklock from Poolewe who finished in fifth place last year is also returning tomorrow looking to win the title for the first time.

Inverness athlete Peter Fenwick who won the title in 2019, is also considered a contender for the title.

In the women’s competition, Dufftown athlete Jill Stephen will be looking for a hat-trick of consecutive victories as she bids for her third Highland Cross title.

After winning the 2019 race, she had to wait three years to defend it due to the pandemic.

But she did so sucessfully in a time of three hours 55 minutes and 14 seconds.

Her biggest challenger for the title is likely to come from Fortrose vet Caroline Marwick.

She won the event in 2016 and finished in second place last year, equalling her best time of 4.03.44.

Muir of Ord athletes Kirsty Watson and Lesley Hansen are also expected to be among the main challengers for the title.

A total of 795 competitors registered to take up the challenge to cross Scotland in a day and raise money for charity.

The Highland Cross will be raising money for five charities, which include Àban Outdoor, Caberfeidh Horizons, Cameron House Circle of Friends, Highland Hospice and Partnerships for Wellbeing.

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