The man who has won three of first four Blue Nose International Marathons could be vulnerable.
His margins of victory have gotten narrower each year and he says this has been his worst winter of training in a long time.

Then again, David MacLennan said the same thing last year and still won.

“I know, I know,” he says. “But I really do think this year has been worst than last year.”

The 44-year-old Scotsburn, Pictou Co., native won the first race in 2004 by 11 minutes. In 2005 he didn’t finish because of cold weather and heavy rain. But he roared back in 2006 and 2007, winning by eight and three minutes respectively.

Despite not logging a lot of miles this winter, he’s been running hard lately to get ready.

“I feel pretty good right now,” MacLennan said. “The last couple of months haven’t been too bad. I’ve been, I guess you could call it ‘cramming.’”

With so many Blue Nose marathons taking place in cold, wet conditions, MacLennan is keeping an eye on long-term forecasts — which, to his dismay, keep changing. He says the weather doesn’t alter how he prepares for a race but it can effect his enjoyment of it. He doesn’t mind rain, but heavy wind isn’t pleasant.

But the defending champion isn’t putting pressure on himself.

“I don’t feel any pressure,” the six-time Johnny Miles marathon champ said. “If someone runs faster than me, they’ll win it. That’s the way it goes.”

The Blue Nose takes place in Halifax and Dartmouth on Sunday. Online registration for the race at closes today at 8 p.m.