Running in the Family: Eilish in spotlight via BBC documentary

Wednesday 29th November 2023

Eilish and Liz at Birmingham 2022 (photo by Bobby Gavin)

Eilish hoping to ‘sneak’ 10,000m bronze at the 2024 Olympics

Eilish McColgan is ready to target a medal on the track at the Olympics next year.

The Commonwealth champion over 10,000m now believes Paris will come to soon for her in the marathon, following delays to her debut over the classic distance on the road.

Eilish this week features in a special documentary by BBC Sport entitled ‘Running in the Family’ with the spotlight on the 33-year-old and her mum/coach Liz.

And Eilish has mapped out her plans with track still firmly in the plans – as she targets competing at her fourth Olympics.


Eilish McColgan: Running in the Family’ will be shown on BBC Scotland at 22:00 GMT on Thursday


‘The timeframes will be tight for the marathon,’ McColgan told BBC Scotland.

‘I’d have to qualify by April, which would mean the London Marathon would be the last attempt to qualify for Paris. It’s still an option.

‘It’s not something I’m completely writing off, but I think, realistically, I already have the qualifying time for the 10,000m, so it gives me until the end of June to show fitness and form to be selected for that.’

Eilish and Liz at the British Champs in 2019 (photo by Sue Gyford)

Photo by Michael Rimmer

McColgan, who had to pull out of her debut in this year’s London marathon the week before the event, had been hoping to race over 26 miles in Paris but has yet to compete anywhere over the distance because of the hamstring and knee problems that cut short her 2023 season.

‘If time frames are a little bit too tight for April, I can push things back to the end of June and give myself that extra couple of months,’ she said.

‘Paris is ultimately the main goal for me.

‘I’m really focused on being there for my fourth Olympics and, if the marathon has to wait until Berlin, Chicago, New York, whatever it is, then I know I’ll run a marathon at some point.

‘But I just won’t be forcing it to be ready before my body’s ready.’

Eilish misses out on marathon debut at London Marathon

Birmingham 2022 saw the Scot win a memorable gold over 10,000m (photo by Bobby Gavin)

If McColgan does revert back to the distance that brought her Commonwealth glory, she will be trying to emulate yet another of her mother Liz’s feats on the track – bringing home an Olympic medal.

Coach and mum Liz took silver in Seoul in 1988 and Eilish, having now bettered her mum’s Scottish distance records on the track, feels the Paris podium is now within her grasp.

‘I think winning it is outside my realm at the moment,’ she admitted.

‘I’d have to have people having a pretty bad day and me having an exceptional one to be right up there.

‘But I think there’s no reason why you can’t be sneaking a bronze medal at the Olympic Games.

‘So, for me, I need that extra little bit of confidence from training and racing. I think I got that last year running 30 minutes flat for the 10k. I knew there was a 29-something within me in the right race. I took a lot of confidence from breaking that British record.’

*The BBC documentary was produced and directed by Alex Harron.

Eilish McColgan: Running in the Family’ will be shown on BBC Scotland at 22:00 GMT on Thursday

Eilish and her dad, Peter, at Birmingham 2022 (photo by Bobby Gavin)


Tags: Eilish McColgan, Features, Liz McColgan, Peter McColgan

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