Interview: Eilish McColgan

You could say Eilish McColgan has a lot to live up to with a long distance running legend for a mother. You could say that, but then you’d find out that Eilish is beginning to emerge onto the scene in her own right…and with her mother as her coach!

She is only the seventh Scottish woman to run under nine minutes for 3000m with a time of 8:58.83 recorded in September 2012 as well as this, during this season alone she has set personal bests in 3000m Steeplechase, 5000m and 1500m along with the aforementioned 3000m PB.

Eilish was the only female 3000m Steeplechaser to gain the Team GB A-Standard qualifying time for the London 2012 Olympic Games! Even after the young athlete was hit by a van at the pre-Olympic UKA Athletic camp, she got up, dusted herself off and continued on to compete in the Heats of the 3000m Steeplechase, finishing 9th in her race with a time of 9:54.36 only a few days later.

The future is definitely bright for Eilish McColgan and with the Commonwealth Games being held in Scotland in 2014 we might see something extra special from the Scottish athlete in the near future.

When did you start running and did you have any particular reasons for starting?

I started athletics in my last year at Primary School. My school entered me into a local race without any previous training and I think I came 4th. I just really enjoyed being competitive and pushing myself and so I asked if I could go along to my local club Dundee Hawkhill Harriers – and I’ve been there ever since! Obviously both my parents were athletes and so I’ve always been surrounded by the sport!

If you could run with and/or race anyone, anywhere who would it be and where? Over what distance and on which surface?

I would love to run with the greats of athletics – so people like Paula Radcliffe, Grete Waitz and Haile Gebresellasie. I have been extremely fortunate to have met them all throughout my career. Maybe also Usain Bolt. He really is the golden athlete of my time and a real character for our sport! Road or track surface as I’m not a fan of the hills and mud!

Running wise, who do you look up to and who has inspired you?

Both my parents but especially my mother, being a world class athlete herself and she has coached me since day one! I have improved every year under her guidance and wouldn’t be here without her help!

What are your favourite training conditions and are they the same as your favourite racing conditions?

I would love to train somewhere warm, dry and still – Florida would be perfect for me! Unfortunately I have the cold, wind and rain of Scotland!

What is your fondest memory of running and, conversely, your worst?

My worst was definitely breaking my foot whilst racing the steeplechase. It then caused me to have surgery and be out of the sport for 6 months but to be honest it’s lead me to my fondest memory, only a year later – making the Olympic Games Team!

Where do you see yourself in six years?

Hopefully still competing, but at a higher level than I am currently at!

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