Laura Muir ran 8:26.41 for the 3000 meters on Saturday night, in Karlsruhe, Germany, the second stop of the 2007 IAAF World Indoor Tour. This amazing run, where she defeated Hellen Obiri in a closely contested race, also broke the European record.
Just how good is Laura Muir, one migh want to ask? We have some pretty fine indications.
Laura Muir is 23 years old and the world is at her proverbial feet. A classicly developed middle distance runner, this overnight Scottish sensation has developed over a half decade and is getting ready to race the world. And any one who knows distance running knows that there are no such things as overnight sensations.
Her global racing developed, Laura Muir awakened many with her 3rd in the European U23 (Tampiere, Finland) in 4:08. She made the semi-finals in Russia in the 2013 World Championships, making the semi-finals with then 2:00.87 PB.
Her personal best of 800 meters was set in the Birmingham DL in 2014 with a fine 2:00.67. Later that summer, at the 2014 AREVA meeting in Paris, Laura Muir broke Yvonne Murray’s Scottish record, then 27 years old, with a fast 4:00.07.
The career of a middle distance runner has its ups and downs. In 2014, she did not get out of the heats in the World Indoors with a 2:02 in the 800 meters. Her move up to the 1500 meters in Commonwealth Games took her to 11th in the 1, 500 meters and in the heats in the European Athletics Championships, both run in the 4:14.
Her athletic career developed as did her focus in college in veterinary medicine (University of Glasgow). Laura Muir is developing as a fine runner as well as a fine veterinarian.
I was fortunate to observe her 4th place over the 3000 meter distance at the European Championships in Prague in March 2015. She improved to 5th in the Beijing World Championships over the 1500 meter distance. Moving to the world stage is hard on every athlete. Laura Muir raced against the very best, learning, race by race, that her day would come.
Laura Muir used the big crowd at the Olympic Park to her advantage in 2016, running a swift 3:57.49 for 1,500 meters, breaking the British record of 2004 Olympic double gold medalist Dame Kelly Holmes. Laura’s brilliant running captured the crowd. Both Mo Farah and Seb Coe, two people who know the ups and downs of being the top British athete of their era, have both said supportive things about Laur Muir and her future in the sport.
The Olympic 1500 meters is a race where the rarefied skills of global middle distance racing are needed. In most cases, medals are won and lost based on experience, focus and drive. Laura Muir was seventh in the fast paced finish of the Rio 1,500 meters, where US miler Jenny Simpson moved through the final last 200 meters to take the bronze medal.
I asked Jenny Simpson some months later, what she thought about Laura Muir. Jenny said that Laura Muir is one of the next fine stars of the sport.
After Rio, Laura Muir ran 3:55.22 at the Paris Diamond League. That race, run on August 22, 2016 put a smile on the Scottish runner’s visage, as she set a personal best as well as a new British record. Laura then won the Zurich Diamond League meeting, as she became the third British woman to win a DL meeting over 1500 meters.
What a way to end 2016!
And now, 2017 is off and running for Laura Muir.
This year has started amazingly well. At the Glasgow Emirates stadium, on 4 January 2017, Laura Muir broke the Scottish NR for 5000 meters (set by Liz McColgan Nuttall, twenty-five years before) with her fine 14:49.12. Muir had told the BBC, ” I have been in South Africa training and the sessions there since we came back, were at PB times for 5000 meters, so I felt good coming into tonight’s race.”
On February 4, 2017, exactly one month after her fabulous 5000 meters, Laura Muir ran a world beating (and leading for that matter) 8:26.41 for 3000 meters, also defeating Rio silver medalist over 5000 meters, Hellen Obiri in the process.
Laura Muir now has the British records for 1,500 meters outdoors, plus British records indoors for 3000 meters and 5000 meters. Her 3000 meters is also the European record, breaking the ER for 3000, set by Liliya Shobukhova of Russia.
How could is this Scottish runner? Laura Muir is young, talented, and still developing her racing skill set. We shall have to watch and see in Belgrade (European Indoors), London (World Outdoors), how Laura shows this new speed, strength and racing savvy.
My belief? Laura Muir will entertain British and Scottish fans for some time to come.