It requires a certain masochistic streak to push through unrelenting torrents of pulverising rain and glutinous mud and still come up smiling and satisfied at the conclusion. Takes all sorts, as Miss Whiplash might have noted. Bellahouston Park on Saturday was as far from vanilla as imaginable, green land transformed into dark chocolate as one tide of cross-country runners after other received its sadistic punishment. The strongest flourished. For the weak, only brutal torture.

For Laura Muir and Andy Butchart, the creed is that from pain today will come pleasure tomorrow. The Great Britain internationalists, now at the outset of an expedition both hope will uncover a smooth path towards Rio, held their footing and their nerve to claim the senior titles at the Scottish Short Course Championships.

On a day when all made an inevitable splash, Muir underlined why she has created waves on the track at its very highest level. Expected to earn promotion on to UK Athletics highest tier of funding when the annual revision of its Lottery-backed performance programme is unveiled this afternoon, the 22-year-old rarely competes now in her adopted home city, what with invites to glamorous outposts like Monaco and Beijing flooding her inbox.

Yet on familiar ground, the world 1500m finalist shone amid the gloom. Representing her long-time club, Dundee Hawkhill Harriers, she pulled away from Maddie Murray on the 4-kilometre circuit to seize victory in 13 minutes and 16 seconds, well clear of her Australian-born rival with Jo Moultrie just adrift in third and VP-Glasgow comrade Gillian Black snaring the Under-20 prize in fourth.

The Olympics, for Muir, are the goal over the horizon. Liverpool in 19 days' time is the immediate target, where the British trials for next month’s European cross-country championships in southern France will be held. “I’d love to be there,” she declared. It would be one more notable notch on the belt.

Murray, now eligible for Scottish and UK selection, has likewise targeted a summons to Hyere. Muir, she admitted, was just a cut above but she will attempt to narrow that gap. “I am representing Scotland in the Leeds 10K next week and hopefully that sets me up well for Liverpool,” she said. “The Senior Women race over 8k there and I’ve been factoring that distance into my training.”

Freya Ross will also be bound for Sefton Park with the 2012 Olympian maintaining a steady return from long-term injury by coming 10th, adjoining Murray, Laura Wilson and Rachael Dunn to guide Edinburgh AC to team victory. It was an industrious weekend for the former champion, whose recipe book ‘Food on the Run’ was despatched to the printers in the hours before her latest excursion. “I enjoyed a splash in the mud,” Ross declared. “Everything is moving in the right direction and I feel more confident going forward.”

Butchart had sought out sunnier conditions in Spain to ready himself for the cross-country season and the summer beyond. It required a late acceleration to burn off the chase from his Central AC training partner Alastair Hay to win in 12:02 with Shettleston’s Tewolde Mengisteab third.

The 24-year-old, 12th on his GB&NI track debut in last June’s European Cup 10000m, will trust that such slogs can put him in the frame for Brazil. “It is always good to defend your title and I am pleased to have done that and we're delighted Central won the team race,” he said. “Liverpool is the next big thing for me now as I have decided against the Leeds 10K this year. I’m not planning to race for the next three weeks. With the group we have at Central, you always get ‘competitive’ training in any case.

“I want to get in that GB team for the Euro Cross again and then see if I can improve on last year’s showing. That’s the immediate target for me and I’ll be working towards those goals over the next few weeks.” Inverclyde’s Jonny Glenn, in fourth, was the Under-20 victor while Sol Sweeney and Erin Wallace took the Under-17 title titles.

While Muir can expect a funding upgrade, others will await anxiously when the appraisal of their world-class status is revealed with injury-dogged steeplechaser Eilish McColgan and under-performing high jumper Allan Smith, along with former world 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene, among those who may face demotion from the Lottery list. However world 5000m finalist Steph Twell could receive a recall on to financial support with IPC gold medallist Jo Butterworth expected to be elevated on to the higher Podium tier.