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Runner Andy aiming to scale Andorra peaks

By Matt Leslie

HALKIRK runner Andy Douglas is aiming to hit the heights in Andorra by leading Britain to world championship glory.

The 31-year-old will be part of a Great Britain quartet running up and down the Andorran Pyrenees for the team World Mountain Running title.

Andy, who is now based in Inverclyde but used to compete for North Highland Harriers, hopes the weather forecast for Sunday’s race holds true given his last mountain outing.

Competing in the European championships in Macedonia, the runner had high hopes for a podium finish only for a combination of tough terrain and boiling hot conditions to thwart his medal chances.

So far, the news from Andorra sounds good with ideal running conditions awaiting Andy.

He said: “I finished fifth in Macedonia which is obviously not what I wanted as I really thought I had a good chance of a medal – whatever the colour.

“However, it was a rough and rocky course and there was a very dry heat which was stifling.

“I’ve checked the forecast for Andorra and the temperature is about 18 to 19 degrees with an overcast sky. If it stays that way then that would be ideal.”

Andy prepared by flying to the Rockies in Colorado to get himself in shape.

He added: “I flew out to America to get some altitude training as when running up a great height the air gets thinner which affects your breathing.

“So I had to get myself acclimatised to that. At Colorado I was running at 1700 metres above sea level. It was tough but good to get myself used to it.

“I was happy with the shape I was in when I completed my preparation and it was certainly a great help in Macedonia.

“Here's hoping it will come into good use again on Sunday. I’ll be running in a team of four with the top three times from our team counting towards our final total in the competition.

“Hopefully we can show we’re a decent team and bring home a medal.”

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