Prestwick woman running 24-hour ultra-marathon in memory of her beloved aunt

Linzi Noble (Chris Austin / DC Thomson)
Linzi Noble (Chris Austin / DC Thomson)

SUNDAYS might be a day of rest but try telling that to Linzi Noble.

While many of us are enjoying a fry-up, a long lie or a leisurely read through The Sunday Post, the mum of one will be entering the home straight of a 24-hour ultra-marathon.

The 26-year-old from Prestwick began running at noon yesterday and won’t be off her blistered feet until the same time today. What’s even more incredible is she didn’t take up running until six months ago.

Linzi is taking on the Glenmore 24 – an off-road circuit near Aviemore – in memory of her aunt, Viv McBeth, who died last summer after battling a brain tumour for more than a decade.

Viv McBeth

Viv was a passionate campaigner for The Brain Tumour Charity, so Linzi wanted to raise funds for the organisation in her aunt’s honour.

“She would probably tell me I was crazy if she was still here and would ask if there was nothing else I could do for 24 hours instead. But I know she would be proud and she would be my wing woman,” said Linzi.

“Aunt Viv was very active in fundraising, first for Cancer Research and then The Brain Tumour Charity. She became the community fundraiser for Scotland and was basically the face of the charity.

“She got me into charitable work and whenever I organised any events she was right there by my side.”

Linzi training (Chris Austin / DC Thomson)

Linzi describes Viv as very positive, even after her diagnosis at 32.

“Surgeons operated but they couldn’t fully remove it,” she said. “In December 2016, she was diagnosed with a second brain tumour on top of the original one – it was pretty severe and she deteriorated very quickly.”

Viv passed away aged just 44.

When a co-worker at Prestwick Tennis Centre told Linzi of the 24-hour marathon, she initially said no.

“But then I thought about it and realised I wanted to set myself a challenge and there was no bigger one than this since I wasn’t a runner,” Linzi said. “It will be a mental and a physical challenge and that’s what my aunt went through as she faced up to the brain tumour over 13 years.

“I started training in December but I jumped into it too hard and ended up with runner’s knee, which meant I had to rest a couple of months, so it was February before I really got going.”

Linzi is studying Sports Science (Chris Austin / DC Thomson)

The Glenmore 24 sees 200 runners take part in a four-mile route, which they repeat in the 24-hour time limit.

“I won’t be off the course for any length of time,” she said. “I’ll just walk whenever I need to rest or eat, because if I stop completely I don’t think my legs would let me get back up again!”

The run is Linzi’s latest lifestyle change. “When my little girl, Olivia, was 10 months I went to the gym for the first time as I’d put on weight.

“I became passionate about it. That led to me enrolling in an HNC in Sports Science, then I completed an HND and I’m now entering the degree course at third year. When I got my gym instructor qualification I started up my own classes at Prestwick Tennis Centre. It’s changed my life.”

As Linzi completes the final hours of the lung-busting challenge today, she knows her aunt would have enjoyed nothing more than to be there, cheering her on.