The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire)

Douglas plays the long game.

Hopes over GB trials at Snowdonia in July

- BY FRASER CLYNE

Under normal circumstan­ces Highland athlete Andy Douglas would be getting ready to open the defence of his Mountain Running World Cup title. But nothing is normal at this time.

The North Highland Harriers club member, who comes from Halkirk in Caithness but now lives in Edinburgh, won three of the seven races in last year’s World Cup and finished no lower than sixth in the remaining four to outscore his rivals.

Douglas planned to open his overseas account in May but that has been put on the back burner because of the widespread cancellati­on of sporting fixtures due to Covid-19.

He said: “There hasn’t been a lot of communicat­ion yet from the World Mountain Running Associatio­n as it has been left to the respective race organisers to decide what’s happening.

“I know, however, that the first race, to have been held in Spain at the beginning of May, has been postponed.

“The next one was to have been in Northern Italy a few weeks later so there’s no way that will go ahead, either.”

Douglas will also miss out on trying to retain the European mountain running championsh­ip team title.

Last summer he was a member of an all Scottish line-up in the Great Britain side which won the senior men’s team prize for the first time.

Keswick-based Jacob Adkin took the individual gold, with Deeside’s Robbie Simpson seventh and Douglas, ninth, combining to secure victory.

Douglas said: “I’ve just heard that the

Europeans, which were to have been held in Portugal at the beginning of July, have been cancelled and won’t be held again until 2021.

“I was really hoping it might still be on, but it’s understand­able that it can’t be put back to later in the year because of fixture congestion.”

Douglas’s main target for 2020 was to step up from the classic race to the long-distance race at November’s world mountain running championsh­ips on Lanzarote.

The Great Britain trial for the 42km longdistan­ce world event is due to be held in Snowdonia in July, with the classic distance trial in Scotland in September.

Douglas said: “I still want to aim for the long-distance event by running in the trial, if it takes place. But I guess it also depends on how well I can prepare for it.

“Hopefully the world championsh­ips will go ahead and we’re back to some form of normality.”

“Hopefully the world championsh­ips will go ahead”

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 ?? Photograph by Kenny Elrick ?? ADJUSTING: Andy Douglas is having to rethink his plans.
Photograph by Kenny Elrick ADJUSTING: Andy Douglas is having to rethink his plans.

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