Eilish McColgan is raring to take on the TCS London Marathon for the first time in 2023
Commonwealth Games gold and silver medallist Eilish McColgan admits it feels ‘surreal’ to be making her TCS London Marathon debut on Sunday 23 April, nearly 30 years after her mum Liz famously won the event in 1996.
The 32-year-old will compete at the 26.2-mile distance for the first time after a sensational 12 months that saw her announce herself on the world stage with a string of impressive performances, including being crowned 10,000m Commonwealth champion in Birmingham.
“Last year was better than I could have written for myself,” said McColgan. “With the Commonwealth Games being in the UK, a British crowd, my mum and dad being there, (my partner) Michael being there, and of course having that family history with my mum winning gold 32 and 36 years ago – I couldn’t have asked for any more.”
A decorated debutant
But the Team GB and Scotland athlete did achieve more in 2022. Before Birmingham, she broke two British and one European record that had all been set by Paula Radcliffe two decades earlier.
First, McColgan became the fastest Briton in a 5K road race by clocking 14 minutes 48 seconds, and just a week later she beat the British half marathon record by 21 seconds, in a time of 1:06:26. Her hat-trick of rewriting records was completed when she ran the 10K in 30:19 – a European best.
Now the Hawkhill Harrier has her sights set firmly on marathon success and is excited to follow in her mum’s footsteps once again, this time in London.
She said: “The London Marathon is one of these bucket list races. Even people who don’t run, they’ve never run in their lives, and they have no interest in running, but they know what the London Marathon is. It’s such an iconic race that everybody in our country knows about it and everyone wants to do it.”
McColgan was a pacesetter at the 2020 and 2021 London Marathons, and she’s confident the experience will stand her in good stead this April.
“It was nice to see the whole process of going to sleep the night before to being on the Start Line. I think that’ll help settle my nerves a little bit, knowing that I’ve seen everything.”
If her debut goes well, McColgan hopes this will be the start of a successful new journey. She said: “I’m of the mindset that London is the first step towards doing more road races and marathons. I won’t entirely turn away from the track, I still want to be competitive over 10K but the priority is definitely the marathon. Of course, that might change if I’m no use at it!”
Like mother, like daughter
After the last 12 months, it’s hard to imagine McColgan being anything other than successful, especially with her legendary mum guiding her. So, has her mum offered her any advice?
“My mum just said not to get sucked into other people’s races, and I think I’m quite good at that. When I was 12 years old, she said ‘One day, you’ll be a marathoner’. To be honest, that petrified me as a kid but, as I got older, I think deep down I knew this was my path.”
British athletes joining McColgan on the Start Line of the 2023 TCS London Marathon include the fourth-fastest Briton of all time over the marathon distance, Charlotte Purdue, as well as strong contenders Stephanie Davis and Samantha Harrison.
Check out the full list of British stars taking on the elite women’s race below.
British elite women at the 2023 TCS London Marathon
- Charlotte Purdue (2:23:26)
- Stephanie Davis (2:27:16)
- Alice Wright (2:29:08)
- Rosie Edwards (2:31:56)
- Samantha Harrison (2:32:22)
- Eilish McColgan (debut)