Olympic runner leads virtual run at BSAVA Congress

Olympic Athlete Laura Muir is helping host a virtual run at BSAVA Virtual Congress this year, to highlight the physical and mental health benefits of being active. The congress will run virtually from 25 – 27 March 2021 and Laura has made three inspirational videos to encourage delegates to get outside and promote their wellbeing.

As well as being a qualified vet, having studied at the University of Glasgow, Laura Muir is the British record holder over the 1500m, a five-time European Champion and is aiming to claim her first Olympic medal at the Tokyo Olympics this summer. She will be encouraging Congress delegates to put their best running feet forward during the three days of the event.

Laura has made three videos to show to delegates how she successfully balanced running alongside her veterinary studies, revealing the low points as well as the high points and to demonstrate how the key is to focus on the positives. In the videos Laura is interviewed by vet and runner Brian Faulkner, who achieved the extraordinary feat of running 31 marathons in 31 days. Brian will also be speaking at Congress in the ‘Lessons from Lockdown’ session on the Saturday.

BSAVA Virtual Congress Olympic athlete Laura Muir running
Olympic athlete and qualified vet Laura Muir

“There are so many things in life you can’t control,” said Laura. “My own philosophy that keeps me going is ‘do the best that you can do’.  For students it’s about remembering all the hard work they’ve put in over the years. To get to where they are in vet school, is a huge achievement in itself.  For practitioners who perhaps have had a bad day, taking a moment to remember just how many animals they’ve helped might just keep that negative experience in context.”

Brian Faulkner agrees; drawing on his coaching experience, he refers to something he affectionately calls ‘bitch spay-ophobia’.  When students and colleagues become fearful that they may cause more harm than good he reminds them of the bigger picture and that the long-term benefits of performing such procedures are the very reason why many wanted to become vets in the first place.

Participants can support each other by posting details of their run or walk on the Congress platform in the Health and Wellbeing chat room. There are no set times or distance, and delegates are encouraged to take part at a pace, time and location that suits them. Prizes will be awarded for the best selfie taken and posted on Twitter or Instagram tagged #BSAVAVirtualRun.

For extra motivation, runners will be able to join the BSAVA running community via the Health and Wellbeing chat room where they can pose questions for Laura and other runners and can share their own experiences and achievements.  Attendees can listen to the three motivating videos from Laura at the Health and Wellbeing stand in the exhibition, in which she speaks about Laura the athlete, Laura the vet and Laura the person.

“Whether you are a seasoned runner or have never broken out of a walk we are encouraging everyone to participate,” said BSAVA President Professor Ian Ramsey. “Becoming more active is beneficial to health and wellbeing in so many ways and we are hoping to inspire delegates to lace up their trainers, clock up some miles and feel the difference.”

It’s free to join the BSAVA Virtual Run and you can sign up here.

BSAVA Run is part of a motivating range of wellbeing sessions at Congress this year: Keynote speakers Dr Ranj and Jenny Campbell drawing on their own experiences to emphasise the importance of wellbeing. In addition, delegates can exercise their bodies as well as their minds with yoga and restorative meditation practices.

To register now visit here. 

For information on how to become a BSAVA member visit here. 

To read more articles about BSAVA Virtual Congress and speakers at the event visit here.