Sunday, May 29, 2022
1Sporting legends do battle 159

Sporting legends do battle 159


By Karrie Gillett

TWO of Scotland’s sporting legends are going head-to-head in a charity duathlon.

Scottish rugby ace Gavin Hastings will compete against a team led by Olympic runner Liz McColgan when they take part in the race on the banks of Loch Ness.

But the two athletes are taking different approaches to the warm up for next month’s event with Hastings insisting it’s the participation that really counts.

The 46-year-old former Scottish team captain said:  “I’ve been out and about on the mountain bike and it’s fair to say that I was pleasantly surprised that I still had some life left in the old legs.

“As for the running – it’s 10k and I’m afraid I’m just going to have to grin and bear it.

“My fitness is average I would say. I’m there to have fun and that’s what it’s all about. Liz has certainly been motivating her team – for someone of her competitive nature it would be difficult for her not to get fired up about it.

“For me it’s the good old taking part that matters – the winning is totally irrelevant.”

And both sports stars admitted they have been watching the Beijing Olympics very closely, spurring them on to get even more active.

McColgan – who won a gold medal in the 10k during the 1986 Edinburgh Commonwealth Games – said that the success of the Scottish athletes in particular has been inspirational.

The Dundee-born runner – who was awarded an MBE in 1992 – said that sporting achievements were definitely on the up in Scotland.

“People always go on about Scotland’s poor health record with inactivity and obesity levels. And while we aren’t all going to be Chris Hoys and have that level of success, it’s important for people to just get involved in sport and take part to the level they want.

“After Hoy’s amazing achievements, you are going to get every little boy here wanting a bike for Christmas. It has a snowball effect and what Chris has done is going to do amazing things for Scottish sport.

“They’ve all done brilliant at the Olympics and the good thing is that because they have won so many medals, when it comes to 2012 it’s going to be everybody trying to lift their game again.

“And we have the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow just two years later so we need to make sure our athletes get the medals in Scotland.

“We need them to get medals for it to be the best Games ever.”

But the 44-year-old denied the accusations of her Monster Challenge rival Hastings and insisted that she was only taking part for the fun.

She said: “I’m entering with a family team and there are professional cycling groups who take part in the race who we would just never be able to beat.”

The First Monster Challenge goes ahead on Saturday September 13 at Loch Ness with more than 200 teams taking part.

Each team is made up of four competitors with each one having to complete two legs – one 10k run and one 20k cycle.

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