Scot vows to return next year to complete transcontinental trek

Thursday, November 17, 2011
Don Lennox of Glasgow, Scotland, hugs Betty Rouse, left, and Judy Payton, clerks at Ampride in McCook, Nebraska. It was the accent that alerted Betty and Judy to the fact that this smiling man was not from anywhere around here. (Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette)

McCOOK, Nebraska -- As a heavy, wet snow fell Wednesday morning on McCook, Nebraska, Don Lennox hit the half-way point of a San Francisco-New York City expedition. At the same time, the Scotsman neared the end of time allotted on his travel visa.

Lennox, who sipped hot coffee at the AmPride Cenex gas station in McCook, wasn't too disappointed that his transcontinental trek was nearing an end, however prematurely. "I've been 90 days away," he told Betty and Judy. "It'll be nice to see my parents again."

Lennox left San Francisco on Sept. 3, bound on foot -- walking and running -- for New York City. The purpose of the trek, first and foremost, Don said, is to benefit the "Wounded Warrior Program" in the United States and "Help for Heroes" in Scotland. They're similar programs, Don said, "supporting injured troops coming back from conflicts."

The trip hasn't gone as well as Don had hoped. "I've lost about four weeks to allergies and injuries," blisters and muscle strain caused by carrying a 70-pound pack in 100-degree temperatures, he said. Glancing out the window at accumulating snow, Don said he's also lost about two weeks to snow.

He's philosophical his aches and pains. "I've had 90 days of discomfort. These guys (wounded soldiers) come back with life-changing injuries and disabilities," he said.

McCook is about the half-way point on his journey, and with just six days left on his travel visa, Don planned to hop Amtrak in McCook to New York City and fly back home, and next year renew his visa.

"I'll be back next year," he said, smiling, planning to finish his trek across the United States, this time walking and running from New York City to McCook.

Don Lennox is a sports physio and fitness instructor in Glasgow. "You call it a sports trainer here," Don said.

Don is an ultra runner and a competitive rower. He is one of a four-man team that set a new record, on July 31, 2010, for rowing across the North Atlantic Ocean in 43 days 21 hours 26 minutes and 48 seconds, beating the 114-year-old record by 11 days 15 hours 33 minutes and 12 seconds.

More information about Don's transcontinental trek can be found at

More information about his rowing records can be found at

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