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McColgan could challenge 10K record set in 1982

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Olympic athlete Eilish McColgan will be one to watch in the Butterfield Front Street Mile elite women's race, and the BF&M 10K.

She is one of Britain's top women athletes and has competed twice in both the Olympics and Commonwealth Games. She won silver in the 2018 European Championships at 5,000 metres.

In October, she broke the Scottish national record for 10 miles, previously held by her mother Liz McColgan, a former multi-world championships and Commonwealth Games distance running champion. The new Scottish record, set in Portsmouth, England, is 51min 38sec.

She also set a lifetime best for a 10K road race, clocking 31min 48sec in Sheffield, England.

On that form, the 29-year-old from Dundee, Scotland, could mount a credible challenge to the weekend's longstanding 10K record set by Grete Waitz in 1982, of 31:41.

If that happens it will be a special moment for McColgan and her mother, who was coached by the late Norwegian legend.

In the mile race, McColgan is expected to be a leading contender. She has regularly run times around 4:30 on the road, and in 2017 achieved 4:19 in the Fifth Avenue Mile race in New York.

As she prepared for the Royal Gazette Bermuda Triangle Challenge weekend, and sets her sights on the Tokyo Olympics this summer, McColgan took part on a question and answer interview with The Royal Gazette.

Q. Have you been to Bermuda before. Is it a place you know much about. How did you get to hear about the January races?

A. I haven't been before. It's somewhere I don't know much about. Although the other day, I got a newsletter from my old school in Dundee, Scotland, and there are always features on former pupils and where they now live. One former pupil was now living in Bermuda as a lawyer — so that was pretty cool.

I heard about the race a few years ago as I had a friend who raced there for England one year. I then found that the 10K course record is by Grete Waitz who was a huge inspiration for me growing up. She was actually my mum's coach and a close family friend. She unfortunately passed away a few years ago. It would be incredible to try and get as close to her record as I possibly can. That would be really special for me.

Q. What is your training focus during the winter months. And what are your main goals in the coming months and for the rest of 2020?

Main focus this winter is to build up my general running and endurance. I would like to run a fast 10,000 on track this year. My main goal would be to qualify for the Olympics but also to run sub-31mins. My mum holds the Scottish record so I'd like to try break that this year.

Q. You recently ran a sub-32min 10K on the road, and a fast 10-miler in Portsmouth. Are you doing anything new with your training to hit these times. Has it been a gradual improvement through long-time conditioning, or both?

It's definitely been a gradual improvement through consistency. In previous years, I've always fought back from injury and illness which really takes a toll on the body. Staying healthy has been a huge driving factor in my improvements this year.

Q. Your mother is remembered as one of the great distance runners of her generation. How much of an influence and inspiration is she to you?

She's a huge inspiration to me. Not only is she an incredible athlete — she's a great mother and coach too. Every time I stand on the start line, it feels good to have her on my team and behind me every step of the way.

Q. What do you love most about running?

I love the freedom it brings. There's nothing better than heading outside for a run and clearing your head. Nobody regrets ever going out for a run.

Q. Which events do you intend to do in Bermuda, and will your partner Michael Rimmer be competing too?

I will be taking part in the mile and the 10K. Michael will take part in the mile — he's a three-time Olympian in the 800m. A 10K is definitely too far for him! Both of us can't wait to visit Bermuda and be a part of the running festival.


Profile: Michael Rimmer

A three-time Olympian, Rimmer, 33, is one of Britain's fastest 800 metres runners with a best of 1:43.89. He won silver at the distance in the 2010 European Championships in Barcelona.

Rimmer, from Southport, England was a semi-finalist in the 800m at the 2008 and 2016 Olympics, and was in the heats at the 2012 Games.

On form: Two-time Olympian Eilish McColgan has achieved a Scottish 10-mile record and a lifetime best for a 10K on the road during the past three months (Photograph supplied)
Beat that: Eilish McColgan crosses the line to win the women's title in the Great South Run, in Portsmouth, England. She broke the Scottish record for 10 miles, previously held by her mother Liz McColgan, with a new time of 51:38 (Photograph supplied)

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Published January 16, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated January 15, 2020 at 6:40 pm)

McColgan could challenge 10K record set in 1982

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