However, rather than experiencing a dramatic loss in fitness, the 27-year-old was taking part in UK Sport’s #teamparkrun event, acting as the ‘tail runner’, to ensure that – as is the parkrun ethos – no-one finished last.
This month UK Sport is encouraging National Lottery funded athletes to follow in Muirhead’s footsteps and be tail runner at their local parkrun as a way of saying thank you to the millions of people who play the National Lottery each week and, in doing so, help fund UK elite sport.
Muirhead took to the pathways of Callendar Park at 9.30am on Saturday for her first parkrun, and encouraged everyone to get involved on August 19.
“It’s just to say a thank you from us athletes to those who go out and play the National Lottery, and for us to have their back when they’re doing the parkrun, after they’ve had ours,” she said.
“It’s absolutely great for us to be able to do this.
“It allows us to get our UK Sport funding; without people playing we wouldn’t have the same level of support.
“It’s great for them to support us, and now it’s even better to show our thanks and to support them and have their back when it comes to physical activity and staying fit – such as these parkruns.”
Parkrun is a nationwide network of organised, free, 5km timed runs that take place every Saturday morning and encourage anyone, of any ability, to get active – with a volunteer tail runner, such as Muirhead, at the rear to ensure no-one finishes last.
To thank the public for their support through playing The National Lottery, Britain’s top athletes will volunteer as Tail Walkers at parkrun events across the UK on Saturday August 19. Everyone is welcome at parkrun - be part of it! www.teamparkrun.com