Great South Run strikes fear into GB ace Eilish McColgan

Eilish McColgan, right, is joined by Chris Thompson and Gemma Steel ahead of the Simplyhealth Great South Run. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Eilish McColgan, right, is joined by Chris Thompson and Gemma Steel ahead of the Simplyhealth Great South Run. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Eilish McColgan admitted a Simplyhealth Great South Run fear factor as she prepares for her 10-mile bow.

McColgan will be aiming to follow in the foosteps of her mother and two-time race winner, Liz, when she tackles the world’s biggest 10-mile race on Sunday.

The 27-year-old explained she is stepping into the unknown in terms of the distance as she moves from the track to the road – a path she is hoping to tread more in the future.

McColgan is no stranger to Southsea, however, after taking part in the event’s junior races as a youngster.

But there will be some nerves on the start line for the Scot, who won silver over 5,000m at the European Championships in Berlin two months ago.

McColgan said: ‘I’ve been to the race before with my mum and I’ve done the junior race before a few times.

‘I know the area well enough and I’m excited to now be making my debut in the proper race.

‘I must admit I’m slightly scared by it all, though, and it’s all happening so soon after my track season.

‘But I just felt if I don’t do it now, when will I do it?

‘I’ve always watched it on TV and felt I’d love to do it, but get too scared and back out!

‘Now’s the time to give it a shot and I think it will hold me in good stead for a career on the road.’

Despite not having the ideal preparation for the Great South Run, McColgan felt the chance to compete was too big an opportunity to miss – even if she’s heard all about the race’s notorious final two miles, which can see athletes take a buffeting.

McColgan added: ‘I’ve had a very long season indoors, the Europeans and Commonwealth Games.

‘I had some time off but I’m very quickly back into it again.

‘It’s not a typical build-up but this is an experience I don’t want to miss.

‘It’s a big stepping stone towards doing more road races, which I feel is my future.

‘So I’m dipping my toe in with this race.

‘I’ve heard some horror stories about the last two miles!

‘But the weather has been beautiful and I hope the weather gods stay on our side.’