St Leonards athlete Jamie Connor hopes to use next week’s London Mini-Marathon to follow in the speedy footsteps of Jake Wightman, Laura Muir and Eilish McColgan.
The 15-year-old has set his sights on a professional career in athletics, and is delighted to be representing Scotland in the 2.6km event on Saturday, October 1.
Having done well in recent 10k and cross-country events, mum Carol-Ann reckons East Kilbride Athletics Club runner Jamie has the determination and the talent to succeed.
She said: “Jamie has done really well over the past year.
“Nobody has been picked from East Kilbride for a wee while – it’s usually teams like Giffnock North, Kilbarchan and Glasgow School of Sport.
“But East Kilbride has two, with Angus Wilkinson in the team as well.
“Their coach, Neil Walker, has done phenomenally well with them, particularly over the past year, I’d say.
“Jamie really wanted this break, because people like Jake Wightman, Laura Muir and Eilish McColgan did this mini-marathon and it helped them progress further.
“I think he’s hoping it will prepare him for the cross-country season, too.
“Jamie wants to do this full-time and that’s where he’s kind of heading. Obviously he’s keeping in with his school work, because you need to have something to fall back on.
“But he did a 10k and won £50 for winning the under-17 category. That was the first time he had done a 10k, but he ran it in 34 minutes, so he’s going to try and progress with that, and different events as well.”
This is the second major event St Andrew’s and St Bride’s High pupil Jamie has been selected for, and Carol-Ann says there has been a big improvement over recent months.
She said: “He was selected by scottishathletics to run the cross country at Loughborough last year, but that was his first year of ever doing anything.
“He came 82nd, which was still pretty good out of 300. But since he’s turned 15 in January he has done so much better and I think it’s really good.
“He has been trying to run for St Andrew’s and St Bride’s, and his PE teacher has been great, doing the events at school to prepare him.
“He won the Lanarkshire Cross-Country as well. But he’s determined. Jamie has been doing it since he was nine and trialled out for the East Kilbride club.
“It was a really bad night, weather-wise, and he was told his time wasn’t good enough – but that made him more determined, so he went back, re-trialed and got in. He has been progressing so well ever since.”
Follow Lanarkshire Live Sport on Twitter via @LanLiveSport, like us on Facebook or find us on Instagram for the latest sports news, pictures and video.