McColgan smashes Scottish 10-mile record to retain title in sunny Portsmouth and Southsea
Eilish McColgan smashed her mum’s 10-mile Scottish record while Marc Scott saw off some strong domestic competition to win the Simplyhealth Great South Run on Sunday.
In bright and breezy conditions, McColgan led the women’s race from start to finish and crossed the finish line on Clarence Esplanade in a time of 51:38, improving on the Scottish record of 52:00 set by her mum and coach, 1991 world 10,000m champion Liz, in 1997.
That time also moves McColgan to second on the British all-time list, behind only Paula Radcliffe who ran 51:11 in Portsmouth in 2008, and secured her victory by three and a half minutes.
Capping a successful year, the 28-year-old’s performance comes just two weeks after she improved her own Scottish 5000m record with a time of 14:46.17 to place 10th at the IAAF World Championships in Doha.
“I feel like I can’t stop smiling!” said McColgan, who emulated the achievement of her mum in Portsmouth by claiming a second win, with Liz having won in 1995 and 1997. “My mum said I was in shape to run 51:30, so I wasn’t too far off of her expectation for the day. I’m over the moon with that.
“I run better off of a strong pace, I probably went a little bit too hard!” added the 2018 European 5000m silver medallist. “But it was just the excitement of knowing it’s my last race of the season and I suppose I was a little bit disappointed from my race in Doha, I wanted to come out here today and do myself justice and run a fast time from the start.
“I couldn’t ask for a better day to be honest.”
Behind her, the battle for second place was won by Verity Ockenden, who clocked 55:15 ahead of Jenny Nesbitt, who placed third in 55:18.
Holly Archer was fourth in 55:32 as she, like Ockenden and Nesbitt, made her 10-mile debut, while Olympic marathoner and ultra runner Aly Dixon finished fifth in 56:27.
Like McColgan, Scott was also fresh from racing at the world championships but also had a win at the Cardiff Cross Challenge plus a quickest leg run at the English National Road Relays in his legs.
In his furthest ever race, he ran 46:57 after pushing ahead in the final four miles to win ahead of Doha 5000m team-mate and British 10,000m champion Ben Connor, who clocked 47:16, and European under-23 10,000m bronze medallist Emile Cairess, who broke the British under-23 10-mile best of 47:50 with his time of 47:32 for third.
“I came to get the win and that’s what I did today so I’m pleased with that,” said Scott. “The conditions were good, perfect for road running, and there was a good domestic field assembled which was great to see.
“Ben was making moves and I just followed each one,” he added on his race tactics. “After six miles, it was already pretty quick so I thought that was a good time to press on. I made a move and it ended up paying off. It was a solo last four miles but it was worth it.”
Cardiff’s Jake Smith was fourth in 47:41 and Southampton’s Mahamed Mahamed fifth in 48:08, while Andy Vernon was eighth as he works towards the New York City Marathon.
After three consecutive wins, Chris Thompson had to settle for 12th and later said: “At my age, and this goes for training as well, you have to accept that you have really good days and you have unrecognisably bad ‘what the hell was that’ days, there’s no real in between, and unfortunately today was one of them.
“That was a legit field, won in legit times. There were some very good performances. I would have had to have been on my A-plus game to have got right up there but it would have been nice to have been closer to the mix and attempted a defence that did justice to the past three years. But you have to sometimes take your medicine in this sport and that that tasted a bit bitter, that one.”
The previous day’s 5km events had been won by Paul Navesey in 14:56 and Sonja Vernikov in 17:36.
» See the October 24 edition of AW magazine for further coverage