Kirkintilloch Olympian Lynne Allen ready for second tilt at Anglo Celtic Plate

Kirkintilloch Olympians athlete Lynne Allen has been picked to represent Scotland at an international ultra running event later this year.

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Kirkintilloch Olympian Lynne Allen will represent Scotland the Anglo Celtic Plate later this year
Kirkintilloch Olympian Lynne Allen will represent Scotland the Anglo Celtic Plate later this year

She will be part of a nine-member Scottish team taking part in the 100km Anglo Celtic Plate event at the North inch Park in Perth on Sunday, April 3.

It’s the second time the 36-year-old residential care worker, who lives in Kilsyth, has been called up for the event, which features 42 circuits of a 2.381km loop. She also ran the event in 2019.

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"That was the first time I'd run for Scotland and I was quite pleased with my time,” she said. “Of the women who took part I was fourth and did it in eight hours 30 minutes.

"It's such an honour to be asked to run for your country. I really wanted to do it again if I was asked so I jumped at the chance."

Lynne has been running ultra events for around eight years, having graduated from the more conventional marathon distance.

She explained: “I was running marathons and was online looking at races and saw one in Aberdeen, the D33 which basically goes along the old railway line and you do 17 miles out and 17 miles back.

"The cost was £9 and I thought I'm paying £50 for these marathons, I love running and I'm getting a bit more mileage for my money.

"That was in 2014 and I just fell in love with the community. It's really inclusive, everyone's welcomed into it and because it's a small community, especially in Scotland, I just felt so welcomed.

"It just went from there. Someone told me that people run the West Highland Way, 100 miles.

"You don't think that's possible . I thought it was someone that was superhuman that did these things.”

"But when you get talking to them they are just normal people doing what they enjoy."

Lynne says ultra runs do require a different type of training at times, and a greater mental focus can also be required to cope with the longer distances.

She said: “Training is a lot of time on feet, it's less pace-focussed. You're going to be walking parts, especially when you are fuelling, taking on nutrition.

"I tend to put in some harder sessions but mostly it's getting the mental toughness to be able to keep going when you're tired and starting to get sore.

"If you're not feeling in that mindset in a shorter race you can push through that a wee bit but you need to know how to change the mindset a little bit when you're doing the longer distances so you can come round to the more positive attitude again."

"I listen to music, sometimes to podcasts, but I tend to do an hour of maybe listening to music and an hour of not because you can even get sick of listening to music.

"You do other things like counting and I'm also quite good at having my favourite movies and taking myself away to watch a movie in my head.

"Nutrition-wise it's different for different races. For the one I'm doing in Perth, because it's flat and quite a fast race my nutrition will be quite similar to what people would take in a marathon, gels and energy bars.

"Something that's a bit slower I would tend to go with 'real' food, one of my favourites is a race pudding."

Lynne admitted that before her first Celtic Plate she was a little concerned at the potential monotony of a multiple circuit race.

She said: “I was really unsure the first time I was asked because I did think I would get bored. I have a mindset of a point to point race and was a bit apprehensive about doing a loop.

"But I did some training for six hours round a track, which was much more than the 42 laps, and I just went into a kind of meditative state.

"You can do things to take your mind away from it. Myself and two of the other girls that ran for Scotland the last time kind of made up games, you would count the breeds of dog that you see in the park or count how many bikes came through.

"You have to think more about things that can keep your mind occupied when you're doing the loops.

"The other good thing about the ultra running community is that people talk. Everyone will talk to you during a race and put the world to rights."