Fenwick wins first Highland Cross
Inverness-based athlete Peter Fenwick was the first across the line at Saturday’s Highland Cross event.
It was a close race, with Fenwick overtaking defending champion Gordon Lennox at the final corner with around a mile to go to cross the line in 3:30:47.
Fenwick, originally from Cambridge in England, was competing in just his second Highland Cross after debuting at the 50-mile duathlon last year, and managed to claim his first win.
Inverness Harrier Lennox, winner in each of the last two years, finished in 3:32:03, while his clubmate Michael O’Donnell took the final podium spot in a time of 3:35:00.
Fenwick believes that his strength on the bike was key to his first victory.
“It was good, I started off on the run and I tried to go with the fast runners for the first section until the hill,” he explained.
“Then I let them go, and I paced it not too badly. I faded a little bit towards the end of the run, so I wasn’t too sure if I was going to be able to catch the quick runners, but my bike is my strong point.
“I used that to my advantage today, and I only just caught Gordon just at the corner there with a mile or two to go, so I’m really pleased.”
In 2018’s race, Fenwick finished fifth overall.
However, that came not long after competing in an extreme triathlon, meaning Fenwick was not in top condition.
After still clinching a strong finish, he says he made a point of working his schedule around the Highland Cross to give himself the best possible chance of doing well.
“I targeted this race, I really wanted to do well,” he insisted.
“Last year it was a week after Celtman, the extreme triathlon, so my legs were kind of tired.
“I got fifth, so I knew I could have a good result this year, and I supported my friend last week in Celtman, but I didn’t do the whole thing so I had fresher legs.”
Fenwick may have improved by four places year-on-year, but the winner now has nowhere else to go at the top of the mountain.
That will not stop him coming back and trying to defend his crown though.
“It’s such a fantastic race, it does so much for the community with sponsorship, and it was my first year last year but it definitely won’t be my last this year,” Fenwick added.
“It’s a fantastic event with all the support on the course. I’d like to come back and try to defend my title, but we’ll have to see.”