Laura Muir's road to Rio begins at Scottish Cross-Country Relays

Laura Muir
Laura Muir will race for the Glasgow University Hares and Hounds in Cumbernauld

Laura Muir's first race since the women's 1500m World Championships final in Beijing will be over the mud and hills in Cumbernauld on Saturday.

Muir, 22, who finished fifth in China in August, begins her winter season with the Scottish National Cross-Country Relays.

"Laura has started off really well in training following a break after the World Champs,' said coach Andy Young.

"We like to do a bit of cross country at this time of year."

Trainee vet Muir will race for Glasgow University Hares and Hounds as she begin to build towards the Rio Olympics.

After the race in Cumbernauld, Muir is likely to compete in the Scottish National 4km Championships at Bellahouston in Glasgow in early November before an indoor track campaign.

While she is favourite for the women's fastest lap at the relay, holders Central Athletic Club and Edinburgh AC are expected to vie for the team golds in an event that has attracted a record field of 536 athletes.

In the men's race, Great Britain international Andrew Butchart, 24, hopes to lead Derek Easton's Central squad to yet another success, though Shettleston Harriers and Inverclyde AC will provide competition.

"There is always a great buzz around the National Cross-Country Relays at Cumbernauld - both at clubs in the weeks prior to the races and on the day itself," said Scottish Athletics chairman Ian Beattie.

"One of the big pleasing factors is the rise in numbers in the women's race. There were around a dozen teams finished in 1993 whereas last year there were around 300 senior women taking part.

"To hear for 2015 that the number of teams involved is still rising for young females and for senior women, I think, is hugely encouraging for the development of the sport. I think that definitely reflects wider growth."

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