Is runner Laura Muir on track for a gold?
Team GB middle-distance star Laura Muir on juggling her pursuit of gold medals with fulfilling her lifelong dream of becoming a vet
World Athletics Championships fri / BBC1, BBC2 / from 6.00Pm
Over the last few years, Laura Muir, the middle distance runner from Inverness, has quietly wowed the sporting world with her record-breaking wins, and is one of Team
GB’S great hopes at the World Athletics Championships, which open in London on Friday.
But while many athletes can devote every waking minute to their sport, the 24-year-old doesn’t have that luxury, as she’s studying veterinary medicine at Glasgow University.
Calling TV Times while dashing through an airport, Laura tells us she’d never sacrifice her degree for her sporting career.
‘Running was just a hobby when I was younger, so it was a pleasant surprise when I got to uni and started progressing with the running very quickly,’ she says. ‘Initially, vet school was my main priority, but then I realised that I’d have to concentrate on both at once.’
TV Times has a wonderful vision of Laura lambing in the morning and then heading out to the track in the afternoon... ‘A couple of years ago, that was pretty much the story,’ she laughs. ‘It can be hard if I have to be on a work placement at 8.30am and fit a run in before that, especially if it’s rainy and windy in Glasgow, but it’s all worth it in the long term.’
Laura, who starts her final year at university a month after the World Championships finish, has had to make sacrifices over the years, but says her friends have been a great support. ‘They do wonder how I manage because they’re so busy just with their studies. The course is so
demanding that none of my vet mates have much time to go on nights out, so it’s not like they’ve all got lots of free time on their hands and
I’m missing out.
‘I’m not a normal student, that’s for sure. I once had to explain to my flatmates that we might get a knock on the door at 6.00am from the athletics drugs testers, so they’ve had to deal with a slightly different lifestyle, too, because of living with me.’
about running and being a vet laura muir
Still recovering from a broken foot, there has been speculation from some quarters that Laura may only compete in one event at the championship. However, she tells us that she plans to race in both the 1,500m and 5,000m. ‘I’m feeling really positive. I’m going to give 100 per cent and hopefully that will be enough to get a medal,’ she says. ‘The atmosphere’s going to be amazing, and I do thrive on having the crowd’s support behind me. Hopefully, that will help me to pull it out of the bag.’
Of course, Laura will also have the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in her sights, but don’t expect her to put her veterinary career on hold.
‘I’d like to work as a vet after I graduate. If I left it two years to focus on the running,
I’d end up losing a lot of confidence and knowledge,’ she explains.
‘What I’m doing now is the dream: travelling, racing, and loving everything I do – so I want to keep that up. I’d like to get some veterinary volunteer work in Glasgow – hopefully, this would allow me to come and go, and still do my running to the best capacity that I can.’
Running wild: After the championships, Laura will return to her veterinary studies at uni
Winning streak: Laura is hoping to break more records