World championship marathon runner Josh Harris will continue his comeback from a career-threatening foot injury at one of Launceston’s biggest annual sporting events this weekend.
The 28-year-old, who has spent the past year recovering from the broken talus bone he picked up at a training camp in Switzerland, will race alongside the likes of Dave Thomas, Dylan Evans and Kate Pedley in Sunday’s 5km handicap race around Launceston’s CBD, which will act as a curtain-raiser to the Stan Siejka Classic.
“I’ve had a really tough year coming back from an injury and I’m really looking forward to getting out there and doing 5k,” he said.
“(The handicap) is going to be really fair to all the runners which gives someone like me - I’m not in the best shape I’ve ever been in - a chance to still be competitive.
“It’s probably the best field of runners I’ve seen assembled in Launceston.”
Harris couldn’t say when he would be back to full fitness.
“That’s really unsure at the moment. I’m making really small steps with my progress so that mightn’t happen but I’ve just got to keep doing the right things and hopefully I’ll end up getting back to where I want to be.
“I’ve done quite a bit of cross training so if my foot feels good on the day I might be able to give under 17 minutes a challenge.
“That’s a fair way from what I’ve done at my best but it’s still steps forward to hopefully getting back there.”
Sunday’s race will be the first running event at the Classic in a number of years, and will take place in front of a predicted crowd of between 8000 and 9000.
“I’m really glad they’ve got it back this year,” Pedley said.
“I grew up doing the handicap races down the West Coast so it’ll be fun and I’m really looking forward to it.
“It’s so nice that so many people can come out and support it and I think it’s nice that there’s some young kids running and then some older ones like myself so it’ll be a great atmosphere.”