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Aussie Nurse Lifts Scotland's Legendary Dinnie Stones

Only 2nd Woman Ever To Lift Them

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An Australian nurse, Leigh Holland-Keen, 29, has become only the 2nd woman to lift Scotland’s legendary Dinnie Stones. The Dinnie Stones, two granite boulders which together weigh nearly 332.5kg, are named after legendary Scottish strongman Donald Dinnie who carried them across Potarch bridge in Aberdeenshire in 1860.

Since their rediscovery in 1953, ninety men have lifted them and until Leigh lifted them last Sunday, Jan Todd was the only woman who had lifted them, a record she had held since 1979, making Leigh the first woman to lift them this century.

Strongwoman Leigh has been competing internationally in strongwoman events for several years and started weight-training at the age of 14. She credits her mum and stepfather’s passion for weight-training as what got her interested and her stepfather Lance successfully lifted the Dinnie Stones in 2009 and again last year, which is when Leigh attempted it for the first time. She states that she didn’t intend to try it last year as she was only there to support Lance, but came very to lifting it so promised to return the following year to have a proper go at it.

That’s exactly what she did as Leigh went home to Australia and, with the help of her mum and stepfather Lance, made it her goal to train to lift the Dinnie Stones. She borrowed some replica Dinnie Stones rings, loaded them with weights and trained in her garage three to four times a week, for up to two hours at a time, doing grip work and deadlifts.

Fast forward a year and spurred on by the crowd, Leigh Holland-Keen lifted the legendary stones, calling it one of the most amazing experiences of her life. She also stated that it was something special and she hopes that other women can look at her and say: “That’s something I can definitely work towards”.


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