Not only is Laura Muir challenging to be one of the top British women 1500m runners, she also studying hard to fulfil her childhood dream and become a vet.
Just 20 years of age and already the British Indoor Champion over 1500 metres, Laura finds the balance of running and studying Veterinary Medicine at Glasgow University gives her a stable routine and a platform from which she can excel.
“I’ve just finished my second year at University. While I have had lots of classes to attend like everyone else, I also train at Kelvin Hall in the evenings and run the streets six days a week.”
“I am quite busy, but I am fortunate that running can be a flexible sport as I can run before lectures and run in the evening, so itâ€™s hectic but good fun. I’ve found it to be a nice balance between the two because studying takes my mind off training and the running gives me that down time from my books, which is nice.”
Whilst children often aspire to be a vet, having loved their cat or dog or kept a rabbit, not so for Laura. Her choice to do a degree in Veterinary Medicine was all down to her pet rat and explains: “I really wanted a hamster but my Mum was bitten by one, so I got given a rat instead. He was a hooded rat so naturally he got called ‘Hoody’. Rats make great pets as they are so clever and can recognise you, as well as being very loyal and good to handle. My family also had a Border Collie and I love dogs too!”
“I’m really enjoying my degree and the Vet School has been really supportive. They understand that the third year of my degree which is always a tough one, will be a really busy time with Glasgow 2014 coming up, so they have allowed me to split it over two years.”
Originally from Milnathort near Kinross, Laura who started running at school, before going on to join Dundee Hawkhill Athletics, is enjoying her most successful year on the track to date.
“I was fortunate to run in my first senior event at the European Indoor Championships earlier this year. I really enjoyed it and ran a personal best and made the final, I was really pleased with that. I have also now met the Commonwealth Games selection standard once and I have been selected for GB at the European U23 Championships in Tampere, Finland from 10-14 July, so things are going well. But Glasgow 2014 would be my biggest Championships yet.”
Two years ago, Laura moved to Glasgow to study and now views it as her second home and is relishing the opportunity to run in her adopted city saying: “I spend so much time here now and I’m getting to know the place a lot better. It’s comforting to know that I’m only a 10-15 minute drive from where I will hopefully be competing next summer at Hampden Park.”
“There will be huge support from the crowd and I’m looking forward to stepping out onto the track and hear them hopefully shouting my name, the home support will be amazing.”
Laura’s organised and balanced approach to her dual aims looks set to keeps her on track for Glasgow 2014.
With exams over, Laura joined Glasgow 2014 mascot Clyde and staff from Games and Team Scotland Official Partner Virgin Media in July, to celebrate their involvement in the Games including as Presenting Partner for Athletics.
You can follower Laura on Twitter @lauramuirruns
Photo Credit: CGS