Lenny has a need for speed
By STEVE ARCHBOLD
SUCCESS in professional sprint races at Nerang, Toowoomba and Sawtell late last year has local runner Lenny Duroux primed for an assault on the lucrative Victorian circuit over the next four months.
His annual trip to Victoria will take in the prestigious Stawell Gift, Australia's biggest sprint race event staged over Easter which attracts the best runners from Australia and overseas.
At Stawell, Lenny will contest the 400 and 800 metres.
Lenny won a 300 metres event at Toowoomba running off a handicap of 28 metres, the second backmarker.
He won the skins sprint at Macksville and finished fourth in the final of the 300 metres.
A win over 70 metres at Sawtell on New Year's Day preceded an event at Nerang where he picked up the 80 metres-300 metres double.
Lenny says he is mainly an 800 metre runner as he believes he has lost his sheer speed for the shorter events.
This is Lenny's 12th year on the professional sprint circuit and his biggest win during this time was the Port Macquarie Gift in 1995.
Lenny turned to professional running because he wanted something more out of life than continually getting into trouble with the police.
"I started to do a bit of training and worked out I could run fast so I decided to give it a go," he said.
Now he is on a hectic schedule of 28 events every year throughout the eastern States of Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales.
"Around here there aren't too many people interested in professional running, most of the top guys are from Queensland and Victoria," Lenny said.
"I am 32 now and even though it means being away from home a lot I love being involved in the circuit and rising to a new challenge every time I run."
His main rival is Robbie Hanna and the two runners share the same birthday.
"It's always great to race against Robbie because he brings out the best in me, we are both pretty competitive," Lenny said.
All professional running is done off handicaps where the best runners are given the lowest handicap or the backmarker position.
Runners are ranked on their submitted times from other sprint race events.