Eilish McColgan will defend her Simplyhealth Great South Run title next week as the world’s leading ten-mile race celebrates its 30th anniversary.
The Scottish athlete turned her focus towards the Portsmouth race straight after the IAAF World Championships in Doha, where she broke the Scottish record over 5,000m with 14.46 to take tenth place.
McColgan stayed in the Qatar capital to prepare for Simplyhealth Great South Run, under the tutelage of mum Liz McColgan, herself a two-time winner of the race in the 1990s.
Victory next Sunday would see Eilish match the achievement of her mum in only her second-ever ten-mile race.
She said: "I'm excited to be racing back in Portsmouth for Simplyhealth Great South Run. It will be interesting to see what's in the legs after a long season on the track.
“Last year it was great to try out a new distance and even better to get the win.
“With the race marking its 30th year it would make it extra special to go out there and match my mum's record of winning twice - let's see what happens."
McColgan will be competing against Gemma Steel and Aly Dixon in the race, which will be televised live on Channel Five.
Steel warmed up for Simplyhealth Great South Run with a strong run in the recent Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run 10K race in Glasgow. A previous winner in Portsmouth in 2017 with a personal best of 52.42, the Charnwood distance runner will give McColgan a run for her money on the south coast.
Dixon has also tasted success in the last weeks, having broken two world records in the space of eight days. The Sunderland Stroller romped to the 50KM World Championships title in Romania just a week before running in her home race at Simplyhealth Great North Run, where she set a new world record for running as a superhero, donning the Wonderwoman costume at the world-famous half marathon.
Famed for its fast and flat seaside course, Simplyhealth Great South Run regularly attracts the world’s leading elite runners as well as the cream of the crop domestically. Alongside McColgan, Dixon and Steel, the likes of Louise Damen, Rebecca Murray and Verity Ockenden will be duking it out on the streets of Southsea.
Launched in 1990 in Southampton before moving to its present location in 1991, Simplyhealth Great South Run will be staged for the 30th time in 2019. Entries for the anniversary event have sold out, with more than 20,000 runners taking to the start line on Clarence Esplanade across the weekend, with a 5k and junior events also taking place.
For more information, visit greatrun.org/South