Scots Olympian Brian Whittle got on his marks to encourage the next generation of Laura Muirs to sign up for the Ayr Classic Junior Road Run.

Ayr Racecourse is making history with its first mass participation race for runners of the two-legged kind on October 6.

Seasoned runners can test themselves on the Ayr Classic Run around a five-mile circuit that follows the iconic course .

But Brian reckons it is also a great opportunity for Ayrshire youngsters to have fun and get fitter.

At 3k The Ayr Classic Junior Road Run, sponsored by Scottish Building Society, is open to children aged 9-15. 

And the Ayr Classic Family Mile is for children aged 3-8 accompanied by parents or guardians.

Brian, MSP for South Scotland, had a glittering athletics career, winning double European gold and running in the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

After meeting Girvan Primary kids and South Ayrshire Active Schools manager Kirsty Mackay he said: “I’m delighted the local Active Schools teams are giving their backing to the Ayr Classic Run. 

“There’s no better time to start running than when you’re young.

“Not only do you get the health benefits but being more active has been shown to improve your performance in the classroom too. 

 “Many young people will have watched the success of Scottish athletes like Laura Muir at the European Championships in Glasgow and been inspired to try running. 

“Just having the goal of putting in a good time at the event can be something to work towards and encourage you to get outside and start training.  

“Events like the Ayr Classic are a great opportunity for runners of all kinds to have some fun and get a bit fitter. 

“It doesn’t matter if you’ve never done an event like this before or you’re a keen marathon runner or even a professional athlete turned politician.”

Kirsty said: “Our goal is to get children more active and the Ayr Classic Run is an opportunity for all the family to get involved.”

Derek Christie of SBS said: “With an office in Troon we are very much connected to the local community. 

“We’re passionate about investing in the next generation and what better way to do so than supporting a great event that gets children engaged in running?”

The Ayrshire Post are proud to be media sponsors of the race.

Editor Gary Fanning said: “It’s great to see such a big focus on getting children involved. It will be a wonderful day out for all the family.”

Ayr Racecourse managing director David Brown said:  “The Ayr Classic Run is a great opportunity for all runners, from beginners to elite, to relish the unique experience of running around an iconic course with their families cheering them on.” 

Already home to race classics such as The Coral Scottish Grand National and William Hill Ayr Gold Cup, the course sees The Ayr Classic Run as a wonderful addition to the calendar.

With free admission for friends and family plus some great entertainment, there will be no shortage of noise and atmosphere to spur the runners on. 

Ayr joins Cheltenham, Aintree and Newmarket as the latest racecourse to turn over its track to athletics. 

 The day will also feature the Classic Corporate challenge.  Workmates can sign up as a four-person team and compete against others for the Ayr Challenge Cup. Who will be the fastest company in Scotland? 

To join in the fun go to  www.theclassicrunseries.co.uk.