Laura Muir can’t wait to pull on her spikes again this weekend as she races for the first time since finishing sixth at the 5000m final of the World Champs in front of a packed stadium in London in August.
But it will be cross country spikes this time as the double European Indoor gold medallist defends her Lindsays 4K XC title over the mud and fields of the Scottish Short Course Champs at Kirkcaldy High School.
Muir has won this title for the past two years, at Bellahouston in 2015 and then at Renfrew last year, and in fact is looking for a fourth win in six years with only Rhona Auckland having broken that sequence with wins in 2013 and 2014.
Big numbers once again mean both the women’s and the men’s race should be keenly-contested through the field as hundreds of U17 and U15 athleters also gather at the Kirkcaldy High School venue, which has hosted Scottish Primary School XC races in recent years.
It’s a well-known location for Kirkcaldy’s Scotland international Steph Pennycook and GB internationals like Josephine Moultrie and U20 Athlete of the Year Jemma Reekie, while Central AC’s Morag MacLarty was fastest at the Lindsays XC National Relays, where Mhairi Maclennan also ran well.
Muir announced her plans to race when interviewed by Jenny Meadows at the FPSG scottishathletics Awards Dinner last Saturday night to cheers of approval from a packed audience at the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow.
‘I always like to race in Scotland if and when I am able to fit it into other competition plans,’ she said Laura, who will represent Glasgow Uni, perhaps for the last time as she nears the conclusion of her veterinary medicine studies.
‘I’ve raced the 4K for the past few years and I really enjoy it. I always think cross country at this time of year helps give you a good base for the following season on the track.
‘It’s been a while because I’ve not raced since the World Champs- with the last one being the 5000m final. I’m looking forward to it and always enjoy racing and meeting up with athletes I’ve known for many years.’
Central AC are defending both the women’s and men’s race titles – with the men looking to make it a hat-trick of successes in this particular 4K Champs.
In terms of the individual medals, those in contention could well include two athletes who represented Scotland with distinction at the Leeds 10K last weekend – Logan Rees of Fife AC and Lachlan Oates of Shettleston Harriers. Both recorded PB performances on the road.
As that was happening in Leeds, Sol Sweeney of Glasgow Uni and Aberdeen AAC’s Michael Ferguson fought out a tough battle in the Scottish Unis over 9K. GB international Sweeney won that one, as he prepares for the Euro Cross trials in Liverpool later this month.