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Nairn athlete John Newsom has second lease of life since giving up competitive running

By Will Clark

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JOHN Newsom feels he has been given a second lease of life after giving up competitive running and winning silver at the Highland Cross duathlon.

John Newsom. Picture: Callum Mackay
John Newsom. Picture: Callum Mackay

The Nairn athlete finished in second place at the Highland Cross for the second time in his career on Saturday.

He recorded a new personal best in the 50-mile duathlon between Kintail and Beauly, as he completed the course in three hours, 23 minutes and 57 seconds.

His previous best time, was 3.31.50 which he recorded in 2018 when he finished runner-up in the 20-mile run and 30-mile cycle.

He was two minutes behind winner Ross Gollan from Edderton who took the title in 3.21.14.

Kindeace athlete Gordon Lennox finished in third place with a time of 3.25.43.

The former Scottish 10,000 metres champion says he has called time on his competitive running career. He says he is now enjoying taking part in events such as the Highland Cross for fun while still looking to come out on top.

He was pleased to finish with a place on the podium as well as land with a new personal best.

"I am absolutely delighted to finish in second place," said Newsom.

"I called it a day with my competitive running after the cross country season.

"Now I am enjoying taking part in events and cycling to work and feel like I have a second lease of life."

During his running career, Newsom won nine track medals gained between 3000 metres and 10.000 metres.

Including winning gold in the 10,000 metres, he won silver in 2010 and 2012 as well as bronze in 2008.

He was second in the 5000 metres in 2006 and third in 2004, 2005 and 2011.

He was second in the Indoor 3000 metres in 2005 and second at the 2015 Marathon Championship.

He was also North District Cross Country Champion in 2017, 2018 and 2020. He finished in second place in 2022 behind Kenny Wilson of Moray Road Runners.

Speaking about his performance at the Highland Cross, he said: "I had a reasonable run maybe a few minutes slower than my best time.

"But I had good race on my bike, conditions were favourable there was a decent wind pushing us along, there was a swirl of wind but it wasn't too bad.

"But it is good to be back competing in the Highland Cross after a few years of Covid forcing it off."

Newsom competed in the Highland Cross in 2018 when he finished second and in 2019 when he finished in fifth place.

The pandemic robbed him of a chance of competing in 2020 and 2021 when the event was cancelled.

But he says that he is looking forward to competing at the Highland Cross in 2023 as he will look to win it for the first time.

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