Shinty player Ali­son is off and run­ning

The Oban Times - - News -

LOCHABER Ladies shinty team mem­ber Ali­son MacVicar is re­cov­er­ing from an ill­ness that has blighted her life for six years but says run­ning has helped put her on the right path.

The 20-year- old from Oban has bat­tled anorexia since the age of 14.

At 17, when her anorexia was at its worst, she weighed just 36kg (5.6 stone) and suf­fered from se­vere brady­car­dia, a slow heart rate. Ali­son re­ported a rest­ing heart rate of 35 beats per minute whereas most peo­ple have a heart rate of be­tween 60 and 100 beats per minute.

Ali­son has al­ways been a run­ner and does it to stay fit to com­pete with Lochaber Ladies.

Now she has signed up to run in the Sim­ply­health Great Women’s Run, a 10k which takes place in Glas­gow on Sun­day June 4.

Ali­son will be run­ning to raise money and aware­ness for the char­ity Beat (beat­ing eat­ing disor­ders).

She said: ‘Run­ning com­ple- mented the de­mands of shinty, and swim­ming in triathlons helped my phys­i­cal strength. Shinty has al­ways been my main pas­sion. The girls in the team have re­ally en­cour­aged my re­cov­ery as they are all so strong and ath­letic. They are a huge in­spi­ra­tion for me.’

Run­ning gives Ali­son a sense of free­dom but it wasn’t al­ways like that, as she ex­plained: ‘Run­ning si­mul­ta­ne­ously ag­gra­vated my eat­ing dis­or­der and helped to­wards my re­cov­ery. In the depths of anorexia, run­ning be­came an ad­dic­tion, a chore and an ob­ses­sion with no en­joy­ment.’

While Ali­son says she’s not fully re­cov­ered from anorexia, she’s about 80 per cent there.

She runs twice a week and loves tak­ing part in the Oban park run. And as her re­cov­ery pro­gresses, Ali­son’s times im­prove. She has a per­sonal best of 20.50 for a 5k and 42.40 for a 10k.

She said: ‘Anorexia has haunted three fam­ily mem­bers and my­self for too long and un­for­tu­nately snatched too many op­por­tu­ni­ties.

‘Al­though I am not fully re­cov­ered, I am the health­i­est and hap­pi­est I have been and that is through the sup­port of Beat, fam­ily, friends, ex­er­cise, chal­leng­ing old habits and em­bark­ing on a sports de­gree to take me out of my com­fort zone.’

Ali­son MacVicar.

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